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In Exodus 17:1-7, Israel is thirsty at Rephidim, crying out against the Lord, threatening Moses, and testing God. Despite this, God was merciful to them, sending Moses to a smite a rock, from which he made great streams of water flow in abundance.

Even though the children of Israel were doubting, angry, manipulating, boisterous, and rebellious, God gave them what they needed–which also happened to be the thing they desired and were clamoring for. He could have sent great punishments among them for their wrangling, unfaithful spirit; instead, he preserved their lives and the lives of their animals in his steadfast love and mercy.

From this, let us take example from our holy Lord of how to be patient and how to extend mercy to those in our lives with wrangling, unquiet, demanding, manipulative spirits. Let us not respond in anger because we have been disrespected (or even had the wool pulled over our eyes); but let us learn to imitate our Father and respond in true love. Let us respond by doing what is right–by doing what is necessary to treat them with dignity, as our fellow creatures (and often as our brothers in Christ); by doing what is necessary to maintain the bond of peace and harmony in truth; by doing everything for the edification of the brethren, bearing witness to the truth in behaving with both justice and mercy.

If the Most High God could bear this affront to his majesty with such patience, how ought we to respond to much lesser indignities from our fellow creatures?

May God give us hearts to learn from him and both a willingness and a desire to change in order to conform more and more to the example he has given for our obedience.

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