Exodus 17:1-7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
17 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. 2 The people quarreled 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?” 3 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?” 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 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. 6 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. 7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Water is a precious resource. We cannot live for long without it. Perhaps that is because our bodies are largely composed of water. Many conflicts around the globe center on access to water, and with increasing desertification, drought, and pollution, this will become even more a problem in the days and years to come. Having lived in California much of my life, I’m only to aware of the issue of drought. For a moment there is a reprieve, but for how long? Now, living in Michigan, I’m well aware of the issue of water pollution. Not far from where I live sits the city of Flint, a community that has suffered greatly due to political decisions that led to a contaminated water supply that led to deaths from Legionnaires Disease and countless cases of lead poisoning.