March 15, 2020

Click here to listen to Pastor Nate’s sermon “Struggle in the Wilderness”

Listen. Here is what Israel has experienced in the last several months:

  • God inflicted Egypt with a series of plagues forcing their Pharaoh to release Israel from slavery.
  • God parted the Red Sea so that Israel could escape the pursuing Egyptian Army. Once Israel was safely through, the waters crashed down and wiped out the Egyptian Army. 
  • God lead Israel through the wilderness, with a pillar of cloud during the day and pillar of fire at night. 
  • God turned bitter water into drinkable water for Israel.
  • God began to provide manna (daily bread) and quail each day to feed Israel. This continues every day until Israel reaches the Promised Land. 

Now in Exodus 17:1-7 God leads Israel to a new place:

What is wrong with this new location?

How would you feel if you were in Israel’s shoes?

Why would God do this to Israel? What is God trying to teach them in the wilderness? (See also Deuteronomy 8:2-5.)

God is testing Israel to see if they will trust him to provide what they need just in time. How do they do with God’s test? How does Moses do?

Look carefully at Exodus 17:5-6. The staff God tells Moses to take is the same staff he used to strike the Nile River, turning Egypt’s main supply of drinking water into blood. This is a staff of judgment. What happens when Moses raises his staff over a people who have failed to trust God? 

One more thing: Jesus is in this story. 

Read 1 Corinthians 10:4 to find him.

How does this give deeper meaning to this story?

Respond. If this story is true; if God caused his judgment to fall on Jesus so that he might love us and provide us what we need just in time, how will you respond? Here are some possibilities (not all may apply to you). Be personal and specific in your responses:

  • Is there something specific in your life that you will trust God with?
  • Is God asking you to do something or to stop doing something?
  • Are you moved to worship God for something specific?
  • Are you moved to repent for a specific sin?
  • Is God calling you to pray in a specific way?

Share. What is something simple that you have learned that you can share? Who will you share it with?

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