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Exodus 17

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

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!

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Exodus 16

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30

SCRIPTURE:  EXODUS 16

BY: Josh Boles

As we get in to today’s chapter the Israelites had just seen God do some truly miraculous and powerful things. God did all of these things just for them, His chosen nation. He delivered them from over 400 years of slavery and delivered them from the hands of one of the most powerful nations around. Given all that they had seen the Lord do you would imagine they would be in awe of God, and their faith would be rock solid. Unfortunately for the Israelite people this is not the case, and chapter 16 marks the beginning of a very long wilderness journey.

Granted as we enter chapter 16 it had been 15 days without much to eat or drink. Still, they should know by now the power of God, and more importantly what He will do to ensure Israels survival. In verse 2 we read that the entire nation grumbles against Moses. Since Moses did nothing apart from what God commanded him to do, they were really grumbling against God. They grew so impatient with God that they said they would have rather died in Egypt than to be alive in the desert.

Even in the midst of all of their groaning and complaining, the Lord was faithful to them and showed yet again his great power and love to the nation of Israel. (verse 10) Then, in verse 11 the Lord instructs Moses to tell him, “Then you will know the I am the Lord your God.” As if they needed more evidence to believe this. What happened next has always amazed me. A bread like substance literally fell from the sky. This is another one of those things that scientist try do describe as a weird anomaly but again, it was simply the sheer power of God. If you skip down to verse 31 they actually didn’t even know what it was. They gave it a name, and Moses does his best to describe it’s physical properties.

The Israelites were instructed to gather extra manna on the sixth day to prepare for the sabbath. Here is something interesting to think about. The Israelites had been enslaved by a people who had no notion of the God of Abraham. None of the Israelites or their direct ancestors had ever experienced a sabbath. They were slaves, so God cut them a little slack and reintroduced the sabbath. We can certainly learn something from this. We might not be slaves to another nation but think about some things you are slave to that keep you from rest and intimacy with God. We get so busy with life that we forget to take a moment to rest and thank God for all the blessings He has given us.

I think we have to take a second an examine these things in our lives. Do we really want to come to a point in our lives where we forget what God has done for us? The great salvation we have through Jesus. When we have faith in God we will receive abundant blessings. These blessings are not always in the form or manner in which we might expect, but you can count on the power and promises of God. 

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