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Bible Pathway - Jan. 23, 2011

Read Exodus 17


The Israelites are called a peculiar treasure (Ex. 19:5), which means they are precious to the Lord. Thirst causes murmuring against Moses; water from the rock; Amalek defeated; Jethro's advice accepted; God speaks on 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 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 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. Often we are tempted to blame others for our problems and failures. Frustration on the job, emotional stress, discontent, finding fault, hatred, jealousy, fits of anger — these are all evidence of the self-centered life demanding its own way. 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 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 Pet. 1:6-7).

Thought for Today:

The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Ps. 24:1).

Christ Revealed:

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

Word Studies:

17:2 did chide with angrily criticized; tempt test; 17:12 heavy too tired from holding up his hands; stayed up supported; 17:13 discomfited defeated; 17:15 Jehovah-nissi the Lord is my banner; 18:7 obeisance an expression of respect; 18:8 travail hardships they endured; 19:4 bare sustained; 19:5 peculiar treasure exclusive, special possession; 19:16 trembled were terrified; 19:21 charge admonish.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Joe Baca (CA), Sen. Thomas Carper (DE), and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) • Country: Serbia and Montenegro (11 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Religious conflict • 41% Serbian/Montenegrin/Macedonian Orthodox; 33% Catholic; 11% Muslim; 1% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in times of trouble (Matt. 8:24-25).

Optional Reading: Matthew 23

Memory Verse for the Week: Proverbs 30:5

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