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Please Help Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians
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Bible Pathways 01/23/05

January 23

Read Exodus 17 - 19

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 (camped) 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 you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us . . . with thirst?. . . And he called the name of the place Massah (Temptation, Testing), and Meribah (Strife), because of the chiding 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 directed the Israelites to that very place.

The wilderness journey exposed the Israelites' refusal to trust the Lord. God has warned us: Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation (testing) in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted (tested) Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. . . . I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err (go astray) in their heart (Hebrews 3:8-10).

Israel's release from bondage and the wilderness journey is symbolic of the Christian's release from sin pilgrimage through life. From their experiences, we should learn to trust God even when anticipated resources are not available. Just as the Israelites blamed Moses, we are tempted to blame others Frustration on the job, emotional stress, discontent, finding fault with uncomfortable situations, hate, jealousy, fits of anger - these are all evidence of the selfish life demanding its own way. Even more serious, it is an expression of distrust in the wisdom, competence, and goodness of God.

The Christian's faith cannot based on favorable circumstances, but on our all-wise Creator. The key to peace of mind and overcoming all life's problems is confidence in His Word. The Christian is admonished to express faith when you are in heaviness through manifold temptations (various testings): That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor 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).

Word Studies:

17:1 pitched = encamped; 17:2 chide = find fault; 17:7 Meribah = strife, because they tempted the Lord to slay them because of their faultfinding; 17:13 discomfited = defeated; 17:15 Jehovah-nissi = The Lord is my standard or banner; 19:5 peculiar = special.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Joe Baca (CA), Sen. Thomas Carper (DE), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ), and Rep. Charles Taylor (NC) · Country: Ireland (4 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Psalm 73:25).

Optional Reading: Matthew 23

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24

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