Learning From Others

Learning From Others

So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.  There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, Exodus 15:22-25 (NKJV)

Have you ever had someone disappointed in you because they felt you let them down?  You were always faithful to them, but when you didn't meet their needs they forgot everything else you had done for them in the past.  I think God must feel this way often, as we tend to be disappointed in Him when we don't feel He is providing what we feel He should.  We see this very thing happening multiple times in the book of Exodus as the Israelites would become discouraged, frustrated, and even angry with God because they felt their needs were not being met properly.  

I think we can learn a lot about God and ourselves as we read these stories contained within the Bible.   And if we learn from them we should be able to keep from making the same mistakes.  I believe we can clearly see a pattern to the actions and resulting failures of the Israelites, so let's take a look at them, as I feel there are 4 things we can apply to our life.

The first thing we can see is they had experienced Abundance.  They had witnessed an abundance of God's miracles when He freed them from the bondage of slavery and provided for their needs as they left Egypt.  

We need to look at our lives and acknowledge the abundance of blessings God has poured out on our life, including our health, food, homes, family and friends as well as our jobs.  

The second thing we can see with the Israelites is their Expectation.  They had become complacent in God's provision and simply expected Him to continue.  

We can find ourselves expecting everything to continue as it has in the past and in doing so we begin to take things for granted.

The third thing we can see happening is they became Disappointed when their expectations were not met.  

We must ask ourselves, "Does my attitude change when things are not going the way I want them to?  Am I like Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh when I hit hard times or do I still have a joy in my heart trusting in God's perfect plan?"

The fourth thing we can see is once they became disappointed is they began to Grumble.

Again, we must ask ourselves, "Do I grumble and complain when things get tough, or do I go to my knees and then cry out to God?  Do I make myself out to be a victim or claim victory through Christ Jesus?"

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from these failures of the Israelites is we will all face the same types of tests, and we will all tend to make the same mistakes if we are not careful.  Another great lesson is God always came through and provided - He never failed.   

"Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:31-33 (NKJV)
I want to encourage you today to think about these great lessons within the Bible.  As we make it our priority to read God's Word daily we will see similar situations to what we will face, and we will be properly prepared to face them and to make wise choices.  

STUDY QUESTION: According to Exodus 15:22-25 what did the Israelites do when they found the water to be bitter?  What did Moses do?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to respond to your trials as Moses did in these verses?

APPLICATION:  Seek the Lord, continue to trust in Him as well as His perfect plan.  He is in control, and He knows what is best.

Father, I trust You for all provision today.  I am sorry for the times where I have become nervous and anxious because I stared upon the challenges and gave them more merit than Your great power to provide.  I praise You for all provision and acknowledge everything I have is from You.  Help me to remember these lessons when I am facing trials.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000