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Bible Pathways - January 23, 2006

  • 2006 Jan 23
  • COMMENTS

January 23, 2006

Read Exodus 17

In Today's Reading:

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? (Exodus 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 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 (Hebrews 3:8-10).

Israel's release from 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, fits of anger — these are all evidence of the self-centered life demanding its own way and the will of God to develop our patience. Even more serious, it is an expression 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 (Malachi 3:6). The key to peace of mind and overcoming all 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 Peter 1:6-7).

Christ Revealed:

As the Rock and the Water that came forth from it (Exodus 17:6). They drank of that spiritual Rock (Petras in Greek) that followed (accompanied) them: and that Rock was Christ (I Corinthians 10:4; compare John 7:38).

Word Studies:

17:2 chide = find fault; 17:13 discomfited = defeated; 17:15 Jehovah-nissi = The Lord is my standard or banner; 19:5 peculiar = special possession.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Kenneth Roy Roberts, Jr. · Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Government Officials: Rep. Joe Baca (CA), Sen. Thomas Carper (DE), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ), and Rep. Charles Taylor (NC) · Country: Finland (5 million) in northern Europe · Major languages: Finnish and Swedish · Religious freedom · 91% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your adversaries (Psalm 109:4).

Optional Reading: Matthew 22

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:15

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