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Bible Pathways - Jan. 23, 2009

  • 2009 Jan 23


January 23

Exodus 17

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The Israelites are called a peculiar treasure (19:5), which meant they are now set apart as a precious treasure to the Lord.

Israel had journeyed to Marah where they could not drink the water because it was bitter. The people began to criticize Moses saying: What shall we drink? (15:24) — as if the God who destroyed Pharaoh's army couldn't provide water.

After this experience we are again saddened by another inexcusable complaint from the Israelites. God had demonstrated that He can do anything, but the children of Israel constantly questioned His power to supply their daily needs. Their complete lack of trust was evidenced by the question: Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? (Ps. 78:19). Again, Israel was faced with a test to their dependence upon God. This time it was not the bitter water they couldn't drink, but the total absence of water.

There is no record that even one Israelite died of thirst. The children of Israel had journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim (Ex. 17:1). The Lord knew there was no water there. This illustrates the fact that God always arranges to test and develop our faith. God desires to bring us to the place where we no longer rely upon material and human resources.

Although we often seek advice from others, we should try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1).

Often when we reach some particular difficulty or discouraging situation, we find it easy to blame ourselves or our Christian brethren or condemning someone for our uncomfortable situation, just as the Israelites blamed Moses — as if everything were his fault. Those who are led by the Lord must expect to encounter many unexpected situations that will test their faith in the faithfulness of God.

Job or emotional stress, discontent, faultfinding, hate, jealousy — all are evidence of self demanding its own way. But, more seriously, they are expressions of distrust in the wisdom and goodness of God. It's easy to praise the Lord when our needs are quickly met. However, faith is not based on favorable circumstances, but on the Lord Jesus Christ. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

Thought for Today:

Trusting the Word of God that he will supply all your need according to His riches seems to be a life lesson that we must continually learn (Phil. 4:19).

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 chide with =angrily criticized; tempt =test; 17:12 heavy =too tired from holding up his hands; stayed =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 you on =sustained you on; 19:5 peculiar treasure =exclusive, special possession; 19:16 trembled =were terrified; 19:21 charge =admonish.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William Keith • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Rep. Joe Baca (CA), Sen. Thomas Carper (DE), and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) • Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy • Major languages: Italian and Latin • Religious freedom • Approximately 100% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Know that the Lord is loving and merciful to His children (Jer. 31:9).

Optional Reading: Matthew 23

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 4:17

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