Tonight I went to Wednesday night supper at my church and then, had the Lenten Bible study with our pastor while the kids went to youth choir and youth group. The passage we talked about was Exodus 17.
It became apparent, through our discussion, that the "miracle" that occurred was more likely an incident where Moses went off to be alone for a bit, grumbled a little to God about the people he was travelling with and their complaints about being thirsty, and then, suddenly remembered a way to get water. Striking the stick against the rock to get water was something he would have known to do because he had been a shepherd.
It reminds me of what sometimes happens when I have misplaced something and I finally get exasperated enough to ask God where it is. Suddenly, I think of a place I hadn't looked and lo and behold, there it is!
I got several things out of tonight's Bible study...
1) When there are troubles, the best thing to do is find a way to be alone for a while and talk to God about it.
2) The answers are within and if we get quiet enough to hear God's voice inside, we;ll get them.
3) The "greats" in the Bible are likely to have heard from God exactly the way we do today.
4) Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear (things may not have happened precisely as described). As Marcus Borg says, I take the Bible seriously but not literally!
5) Given that the Bible we read today was written by humans (all of them men), all of them influenced by their culture, who likely made mistakes and may even have created a few accounts here and there, the miracle of inspiration is that there is a message of continuity that survived all that. We see a God of love and mercy who created us and wants us and we see that God in both the OT and NT!
That's the miracle!
The Bible managed to capture a sense of who God really is in spite of itself!!