Blog & Pastor Letters

The Grumbles of Daily Life

03-15-2020Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Americans love their food and they love it fast. The fast food industry is one of the most successful enterprises in modern history because when people want their meal, they want it now. Many hungry people cannot tolerate delays. As they rush to grab their food, that is how they rush to the next function. It has become the norm to order a meal and it is delivered in a short period. A family can order pizzas or hamburgers, and everybody is happy munching and watching a movie. There are instances when patrons at a fast food joint line up at the end of long lines. When they eventually get a chance to order their meal and it is not served quickly, they flare up. Moses lost his patience in the desert of Egypt because he oversaw many people who were hungry and angry, and he could not keep them from going astray.

Imagine the number of people that left Egypt towards Canaan, the land of Jacob, and the dissatisfaction that faced them due to lack of necessities like water, food, or clothing! Exodus 17: 3-7 tells us that "the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'Why did you ever make us to leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?'" Imagine being the leader of such a people. What would be your reaction? Moses knew that he was in for a rough time with the people in the desert.

Since Moses had no one to help him, he reverted to the one who called him. Jacob went into Egypt by divine providence, through the invitation of Joseph his son sold into slavery by his brothers. Jacob wrestled with a messenger from God at night until the angel crippled Jacob for the rest of his life. He began to limp as he walked, and his name changed from Jacob to Israel because 'he struggled with God.'

From that moment, God blessed Israel; the name is used to refer to the people and the land they occupy. Moses in Egypt, therefore, knew that he was not alone in leading the people of Israel to the land of their ancestors. He knew in his heart that [Yahweh] the God of Israel was with him. However, Moses like any human being was overwhelmed with the complaints of the people he led. Indeed, God manifested himself to Moses by commanding him to strike the rock in the desert for water to flow. Moses did exactly as God instructed him. Water became abundant and the place was named Masah and Meribah (translated to mean 'Is the Lord in our midst or not?"). God was in their midst and Moses was his servant.

Like Moses, Jesus also stood by Jacob's well until he resolved a serious case affecting a woman from the village of Sychar. When she came forth to draw water from the well, Jesus asked her for a drink. She imagined that Jesus was a Jew so how could he ask a Samaritan for water! The Jews and Samaritans were eternal enemies due to issues in defiling their bloodlines. At the end of the long encounter with the woman, Jesus revealed to the woman her marriage to five husbands. Yet he promised her eternal life through the living spring. Nobody else in the public ministry of Jesus got a better introduction than this woman. Jesus introduced himself to her as the Messiah, the One who was to come.

Can we see a relationship between Moses and Jesus here? Moses saved the people of Israel by quenching their thirst and he had no power to do anything until commanded by God. For Jesus, he gives the water and he command the gift of eternal life. Also, Moses led a people on a journey to the Promised Land filled with unsatisfactory needs. In Jesus, there is satisfaction through faith, and heaven is the new Promised Land. In him, God demands we trust his appointed Son, to lead us like Moses through the desert of this world until we arrive at a land flowing with milk and honey in heaven.

The message for this Sunday is related to our impatience with the services we receive in our daily lives. We should learn to appreciate the sacrifices of those who spend hours preparing our meals or taking care of us in anyway. If you can get your pizza or hamburger in three minutes, then you have nothing to grumble about, for many wait for days just to see a meal. Living outside America can open your eyes to many bizarre situations. So, repeat this Irish adage every day, 'Waste not, want not.' Keep praying!