Read Exodus 17
Thirst causes murmuring against Moses; water from the rock; Amalek defeated; Jethro's advice; God speaks at Mount Sinai.
As they continued their journey toward the promised land, the Israelites faced another test of their dependence upon God. All the congregation . . . journeyed . . . according to the Commandment of the LORD, and pitched (encamped) in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. . . . And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured (grumbled) against Moses, and said, Wherefore (Why) is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us . . . with thirst?. . . And he called the name of the place Massah (Tempting God), and Meribah (Contention, Complaint), because of the chiding (faultfinding) of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not (Ex. 17:1,3,7)? The Lord knew that there was no water there and yet He had directed the Israelites to that very place for a purpose.
The testings during their wilderness journey again and again exposed the Israelites' refusal to trust the Lord. God has warned us: Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (rebellion), in the day of temptation (testing) in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. . . . I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err (disobey) in their heart (Heb. 3:8-10).
Israel's release from Egyptian bondage and their wilderness journey illustrate the Christian's pilgrimage through life. We should learn from their experiences to trust God even when anticipated resources are not available. Just as the Israelites blamed Moses, we often are tempted to blame others for our problems and failures. Frustration on the job, emotional stress, discontent, finding fault with uncomfortable situations, hatred, jealousy, and fits of anger — these are all evidence of the self-centered life demanding its own way and are allowed by God in order to develop our patience and mature us spiritually. Even more serious, these are expressions of unbelief in the wisdom, competence, and goodness of God. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (mature), wanting (lacking) nothing (James 1:4).
The Christian's faith is not based on favorable circumstances but on our all-wise Creator (Mal. 3:6). The key to peace of mind and overcoming all of life's problems is confidence in God and in His Word. The Christian is admonished to express faith when ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (various testings): That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:6-7).
Thought for Today:
Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15).
As the Rock and the Water that came forth from it (Ex. 17:6). They drank of that spiritual Rock (Petras in Greek) that followed (accompanied) them: and that Rock was Christ (I Cor. 10:4; compare John 7:38).
17:2 chide, find fault; 17:13 discomfited, defeated; 17:15 Jehovah-nissi, The Lord is my standard or banner; 19:5 peculiar treasure, special possession.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Jennifer Palafox • Government Officials: Rep. Joe Baca (CA), Rep. Bobby T. Schilling (IL), Sen. Thomas R. Carper (DE), and Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ) • Country: Nigeria (113.8 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and Hausa • Government permits all types of religious activity • 45% Muslim (largely Sunni); 40% Christian; 9% Indigenous; 6% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayers must be offered to God with the Spirit and understanding (John 4:22-24).
Optional Reading: Matthew 23
Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:17