Friday, AUGUST 31
SCRIPTURE: EXODUS 17
BY: Josh Boles
As we get further into Exodus you will start to notice a pattern that will continue until the end of the Old Testament, and really one that is still continuing today. That pattern is the complete inability for the Israelites to trust in God, and obey His commands. Once again the Israelites find theirselves in a predicament. They are still in the desert wilderness but have no water to drink. A third time in just 3 chapters the Israelites are grumbling to Moses and the Lord about physical needs. Take a look back at 15:24-25 and 16:2-3 if you need a refresher.
We have to view these grumbles in the context of what has recently happened to the Israelites. They had seen the great plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Lord’s provision for both food and water for their lives. Oh yeah there is also the giant fire tornado that guided them through the wilderness at night. Could it be possible that their hearts are hardening in the same way that Pharaoh’s heart was hardening? Well, that is exactly how Psalm 95:7-9 describe this specific circumstance.
I think this has a lot to do with where the Israelites focus was. They were too focused on their material and immediate needs that they lacked the ability to see the big picture. This again is a common theme all throughout the Bible. I truly believe it is a common theme in our lives today, certainly in North American culture. We get so focused on our daily tasks and responsibilities that we lose sight of the big picture. That big picture is the same picture that we see here in Exodus. It is God’s plan of redemption that is working it’s way through the very fabric of history, yet we still do not have faith.
The really, really good news for the Israelites and for us is that God will never stop being faithful to His people. That certainly should not stop us from a sense of fear and reverence for the Lord. Think about how long the Israelites were in the desert before they got to go into the promise land. There is still reprimanding and discipline for God’s people, but He is faithful to us and cares for us till the very end. If you are in Christ Jesus, if the blood of Christ has washed away your sins than you are have been adopted into the family of God. All of the promises of God have been inherited to you. This is good news!
This does not mean that we simply get to kick it back and live our lives how we want to. As we talked about earlier, we are a part of the story of redemption and God has a specific part for each and every one of you. We simply need to take a step back and see how God’s grace, patience, and presence has been manifested all around us. Think about the Israelites for a second. Time and time again in Exodus the Lord says’ “I will be with you.” Look back to 3:12. The spirit of God protected them during the plagues and Passover. The presence of God was manifested in the pillar of cloud and fire, in the parting of the read sea, and now the battle with the Amalek’s.
Even when it might not seem to be so, the Lord is always with us. His presence is manifested in every circumstance should you choose to acknowledge that or not. Just think for a minute the times when God has been faithful to you. Never forget that you are His and He loves you. He loves you so much that He was patient with the Israelites for thousands of years. He loves you so much that even though He was betrayed and rejected time after time again, He sent his Son Jesus Christ as a ransom for all sin as the final stage of redemption. Never forget!