Psalm 95:7b-11.. 7b Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, 9 “When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work. 10 “For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. 11 “Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”
We are to worship God today if we are to realize being in His presence and hearing His voice from His word. Not waiting until Sunday, but today.
v.8 describes Israel’s experiences at Massah and Meribah. Those places are located in the Sinai wilderness and are sites of Israel’s complaining against God and Moses because of a lack of water. Massah referred to a place near Rephidim, near the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula near the beginning of the wilderness wanderings in 1446 BC [Exodus 17:1-7]. Meribah refers to a place in the northern area of Sinai near Kadesh Barnea, near the end of the wilderness wandering in 1407 BC. [Numbers 20:1-14] vv.9-11 The adults tested God for 40 years even though they had seen the miracles in Egypt, the Red Sea crossing and the daily provision of food and water. God said I loathed them and refused to let none of the adults but 2 enter His rest. Entering His rest was equivalent to our having the peace of God today. I don’t want to have God oppose me or loath me. Let us learn from their example.
Mentioning Meribah and Massah may have been a way of referring to the entire experience of wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 describe the 40 years of wanderings as an example for us to learn from “6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer” vv. 6 &10.
Interesting side notes for senior citizens. First, Meribah is the place where Moses struck the rock to produce water instead of speaking like God commanded. Moses almost completed the journey before committing the sin that kept him from leading Israel into the Promised Land. Therefore we must persevere against sin until the end. Second, During the 40 years all the adults over 20 years old died except Joshua and Caleb. Yet, near the end when most of the adults had died the younger generation complained and grumbled at Meribah just like their parents at Massah. Younger people will imitate their elders unless we repent and walk with Jesus every day.
Henry Luke 7/13/2017
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