March 18, 2014

Trust and faith

By Benson Hostetter, a junior communication major from Harrisonburg, Va.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 17:1-7 (NRSV)
DEVOTIONAL:

Trust and faith. The Israelites struggled with this a lot, and this is yet another account where we see the people of Israel failing to trust God. They didn’t have faith that God was right there with them watching out for their needs. In this passage, the Israelites were so furious that they were ready to stone Moses. Then Moses cried out to God and God provided water for the people. Wow. It’s amazing to me that with such a lack of trust and faith, God still gave them what they asked for. God is with us.

This passage reminds me of Matthew 6:31-32, where Jesus says, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father already knows all your needs.” How much do we fail to trust that God will provide for us? We save up money for our own future as opposed to giving what we have now to the poor; we give only out of our abundance; we worry about things daily that are far less important than what we will eat, drink or wear.

Jesus calls these people who let worry dominate their thoughts “unbelievers.” Wow. Seems harsh. But it’s true. When we worry, we are not putting trust in God, or having faith that God will provide. We become unbelievers. So don’t be like the Israelites, who worry and get mad at God when God seems to be distant. God’s watching out for you, and for me. Just learn to follow God, and stay in touch with the spirit. Pastor Jim Brown once said, “Generosity is the cure to worry.” Just think about it. Give generously, love others and follow Jesus.

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 17:1-7 (NRSV)

Water from the Rock

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

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Comments (13)

  1. Great message, Benson. Thank you for your thoughts. Trust and faith. On the surface such simple words – yet so complex. We are given a lifetime of learning to fully understand, implement and experience trust and faith.

    Melissa March 18, 2014 |
  2. Thanks for this good reminder, Benson. It helped me today, reinforcing what God was telling me. I don’t think I ever focused on this line in that story before; “I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb.” but I see it is the key to faithfully trusting.

    Diana Thomas March 18, 2014 |
  3. Thank you, Benson. This message is so simple and clear. It is so easy to criticize those ancient wanderers. Yet, cashing in my savings and retirement accounts in obedience and gratitude is far from easy!! Yet, the challenge remaiins; am I willing to give away all that I’ve been saving….in
    faith! What joy awaits!

    Keith Schrag March 18, 2014 |
  4. thanks, Benson, for your quote at the end about generosity being a way to express our trust and faith, and a way to cure our worry. “Give generously, love others, follow Jesus.” Thanks for this great invitation for Lent and for daily life.

    Janice March 18, 2014 |
  5. Thanks, Benson, (a fellow-Virginian), for a profoundly simple devotion.
    You said it best yourself: “Wow!”

    Richard Siler March 18, 2014 |
  6. Timely reminders, Benson: “trust & faith” and “stay in touch with the spirit”. Wilma

    Wilma Shank March 18, 2014 |
  7. Thank You, Benson! There is joy and optimism in your spirit of faith and trust, and it makes the message all the more compelling, and attainable. You are either a ‘born’ communicator or have learned well the lessons of your major – and more likely, both! Thank you again.

    Jim Miller ('53) March 18, 2014 |
  8. Thank you Benson for a good reminder that God does have out best interest in mind. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

    Eric Hostetter March 18, 2014 |
  9. Thank you for your message of hope.

    My wife and I have been struggling financially for 20+ years. I have been mostly self-employed throughout my career. Had a good 7.5 year job that ended in 2011 and have been struggling again ever since. We used those years to try to play “catch up” on our finances only to be battered again with a whole host of challenges, least of which includes our family members telling us how to run our finances.

    It’s very upsetting, disheartening, and physically exhausting to battle through these tough times. I’m not getting any younger and at 50 I can’t see the “forest through the trees.”

    I need the hope, love and grace of God to get me through this. And, so I ask all who read this to pray for me, my wife and family, especially that we will never see these challenges again. AMEN

    Bob March 18, 2014 |
    • Thanks bob. I’ll be praying for you

      Benson Jacob Hostetter March 23, 2014 |
  10. Leave a response…
    Benson,
    Thank you for this commentary, It’s helpful as I prepare to lead worship Sunday.

    Jon Byler March 20, 2014 |
  11. Very inspirational!!!!Thanks, Benson

    J. Whitt March 22, 2014 |
  12. Thanks everyone for the responses! I truly hope we all can learn to follow Jesus in a community of sharing and giving. The first Church Christians sold ALL they had and lived together supporting each other. Wow! Could we do that today? What would that look like?

    Blessings :)

    Benson Jacob Hostetter March 23, 2014 |