828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Christian education for Sunday September 25, 2011; Exodus 17:1-7

Exodus 17:1-7
Water From The Rock

Theme: The Book of Exodus continues the story of the growth of life of the patriarchs. This book takes place in two contrasting settings each with distinct story lines: pharaonic Egypt and at Mount Sinai. The first setting tells of Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt; the second tells of the institution of the system of worshiping Yahweh at Sinai. This passage is near the conclusion of the sojourn to Sinai.

Background: The journey to Sinai is marked in stages from the crossing of the sea to arrival at Sinai. The stages along the way are marked by stories of God’s providence with the Israelites; water, bread, meat, and protection. At the end of these vignettes the Israelites will receive the Covenant at Sinai. These stories are also marked by a murmuring cycle where God provides, Israel accepts, Israel tires, God shakes them up, and Israel returns to relationship with God.

Questions to Ponder

Preparatory work: Please read Numbers 20:2-13
* What has transpired since Israel was informed they would have enough bread and quail to live in the desert?
* Would the context of the story change if, in verse 17:1, the phrase “…there was no water for the people to drink.” instead read, “…there was not enough water for the people to drink.”?
* Why might Moses be the focus of the Israelite’s quarreling at Massah and Meribah as opposed to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 16:2 and Numbers 20:2?
* How would the context of the story change if, in verse 17:3, the phrase changed from, “…bring us out…and our…” to “…bring me out… and my…”?
* In Exodus Moses is told to “strike the rock” to get water while in Numbers he is supposed to “command the rock” to provide water. What might the significance of this difference be?
* How may the identification of Moses’ staff as “the staff which you struck the Nile…” be important to the message of Exodus? Would the absence of that phrase in the Numbers version imply a different message? If so, what might that difference be?
* In Numbers Moses actually incurs the wrath of God for striking the rock. Why would God get angry at Moses for striking the rock in one account while telling Moses to strike the rock in another? Why might Moses have struck the rock in Numbers?
* How did the Israelites recognize that “God is among [us]” them? How do we know that God was among the Israelites?
* What are the implications of this story for us today?

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