After escaping from the slavery of Egypt, the people of Israel followed Moses wherever God led them. But they were not always happy, even though they were now free, and they would become angry at Moses. After they had made camp at Rephidim, there was no water.
“Give us water to drink,” they demanded of Moses.
Moses tried to calm them down and he warned them not to anger the Lord by being ungrateful. “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to a test?”
But the people remained angry. “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?” Moses pleaded with the people to give him time. Then he went to a place where he could be alone to pray. “What shall I do with this people?” he asked the Lord. “A little more and they will stone me.”
Then the Lord gave Moses an answer. “Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.”
Moses did everything the Lord told him to do. When he had gathered the people in front of the rock, he struck it with his staff and water flowed from it that was good to drink. Then the place was named Massah and Meribah, from their words which meant to quarrel and to test.
But there were other difficulties. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites, but Moses knew God would protect him and his people. He called Joshua and said, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
As long as Moses was able to hold the staff in the air, the Israelites would be winning the battle. When his arm tired and he could not hold the staff up, the Amalekites would start to overpower the Israelites. Aaron and Hur, who were with Moses, helped him to hold up his arm, and the Israelites were able to defeat their enemy.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Why were the people angry with Moses?
2.How did Moses defeat the Amalekites?
Moses was lucky that his mother loved him so much she was willing to give him up to save his life.
The Egyptian leader wanted all Israelite baby boys to be killed, but Moses’ mother put her son in a basket and hid him in some reeds along a river bank. The baby was found by the daughter of the Egyptian leader, and she decided to raise him. She needed the help of a nurse, so one of the Israelite women was chosen for that duty. That woman happened to be the mother of Moses. God had reunited her with her son, and he would be safe.
Moses eventually became the champion of his people. He followed God’s orders and the people of Israel were able to escape the slavery of Egypt and head toward a “land of milk and honey.” The journey was not without hardship, but God provided guidance and food for the people he loved.
The exciting story of the search for the promised land can be found in Book of Exodus.
Theotonius knew from the time he was a boy that he wanted to be a priest. His first assignment was in the town of Viseu, in his homeland of Portugal. He lived a life of strict discipline, but was compassionate toward others and was known for delivering powerful homilies.
After he returned from a visit to the Holy Land, he became part of a team of religious who were trying to build a monastery, which became known as Holy Cross. Theotonius became its first prior, and his reputation was so inspiring that even kings and queens donated money to build and maintain the monastery.
He was loved by the poor, because he cared for them and helped them, and by the rich and powerful, because he demonstrated how authority can be used to everyone’s benefit. We honor him on Feb. 18.