The Desert of Belief

Agnus Day appears with the permission of
Agnus Day appears with the permission of


Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37

Joshua 3:7-17

1Thessalonians 2:9-13, 17-20

Matthew 23:1-12


God chose Joshua for the difficult job of replacing Moses.  Perhaps that is part of the reason God arranged for them to enter the Promised Land by duplicating the crossing of the Red Sea.  We can get some sense of what it must have been like for the people who went with Joshua.  None of them had known any leader except Moses.  Today, few can remember anyone except Elizabeth as monarch in England.

Change is never easy, yet change is what is asked of us.  Jesus brought us the Good News, but that News requires a turning away from what we know, turning from the Egypt of our lives to the desert where we must depend on God for everything.  The Chosen People of God could find neither food nor water so God caused water to gush from solid rock and food to drop from the skies.

Still the people grumbled; it was not what they were used to.  We who choose to follow Jesus must walk in the same desert of complete dependence on God.  If only God would take care of me this way or that way.  We too often become like the teachers of the law sitting in the seat of Moses.  We change the rules to suit our own ideas of how God should act.

Paul believed in complete loyalty to God.  He worked hard to avoid the pitfalls of the teachers of the law.  To the church at Thessalonica he wrote,  And so we are continually thankful that when you heard us preach the word of God you accepted it, not as a mere human message, but as it really is, God’s Word, a power in the lives of you who believe. Phillips

Belief, faith, the certainty of God does not come easily.  We like our free will.  We like our freedom.  We do not want to give that away to become a slave.  Like the people in Egypt, we fail to see ourselves as being slaves already.  We find it difficult to see slavery to God as the only true freedom .

Accept the life giving water from the Rock of the Messiah and the Manna from God.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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