Flawed and Honored Vessels

Psalm 107:1–16; Exodus 15:22–27; Hebrews 3:1–6 (read online ⧉)

Water is essential to survival. Not having water was a death sentence. What made the waters of Marah too bitter to drink can only be guessed. It would have been horrible to be thirsty (3 days in the desert) and find the saving source of water undrinkable.

They had just experienced God doing a miracle by saving them from the Egyptians. Yet, here they were, 3 days later, complaining. There is a reasonable question, “what shall we drink?” However, it seems that it didn’t start there. It started with complaining.Much of Moses’ journey with the Israelites seemed to involve the Israelites complaining. They complained against God. They complained against Aaron. They complained against Moses. As their cultural history developed, Moses (rightfully) was granted a position of significance. The religion developed a hearty respect for God’s rescuing prophet. The first generation complained. The succeeding generations honored.

By the time of Jesus, Moses was just below God in some ways. Not that they worshipped Moses, but that he was used as the measuring rod of the faithful servant of God. In Luke 16:29, we read, “they have Moses and the prophets….” Moses is raised above the other prophets, even above King David, a man after God’s own heart. The writer of Hebrews resets things, by raising up Jesus as the Son of God, not “just” a servant (as Moses was).

The writer of Hebrews was incorporating Jewish understanding of God and faith (including Moses’ role) into a fuller understanding of who Jesus Christ should be to faithful Jews.As Paul did regarding we being the temple dwelling of God, the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ is building us into his house. The author of Hebrews equates us, amazingly, to Moses. Both (all) were houses built by God.

1) Have you ever compared yourself to another, and said, “I could never be like that?”

2) Have you ever heard someone praise another a lot and think, “how can I measure up to this?”

3) What are your thoughts on being a house made by God, and being made just as you are, flaws and all?