Water from a Rock
by Debbonnaire Kovacs
by Debbonnaire Kovacs
submitted March 19, 2014
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 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?" 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 quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"
This passage brings back some great memories for me. When my children were one, five, and seven, this story came up in the kindergarten Sabbath School lesson. We always liked to try to come up with one or more songs to sing that had to do with their lessons, and this week we couldn’t find one. So Robin, the five-year-old, with eagerness in his little face, said, “Let’s make one!
So we set out on an adventure that lasted, as I recall, all week. It was reasonably easy to set their memory verse to music for the chorus. All of us but the baby contributed lines and concepts to the stanzas. There was a lot of rewriting and refiguring, and giggling. One night we had visitors to our worship, and they added some unique bits. Today, every line has some special meaning to those of us who were involved.
One of these days, perhaps I’ll get up my nerve and sing it on YouTube so you can hear how it goes. But for now, here are the lyrics:
It was a long, hot, tired, and dusty day,
And the people had walked a long, long way.
Now they were so thirsty,
Their throats felt downright dusty.
“Give us water NOW!”
I hear the angry people say.
“Bread shall be given him, his water shall be sure;
The promises of God our King are true forever more.
Moses’ heart grew heavy as their anger grew.
So he walked to a quiet place he knew.
“Lord, you’ve got to help me—
I think they’re going to scalp me!
I don’t know where there’s water
And I don’t know what to do!”
“Take your helpers and head toward a rock.
And I will show you where to stop.
Lift your staff and let it drop—
You’ll have water that won’t stop—
Streams of living water
From a common desert rock.”
And ending with a flourish!)