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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
He Proved Them
Back in Exodus we see the story of God leading His children out of Egypt. We saw where He led them around the way past the Philistines because He knew if they went through their country there would be war and Israel would turn and go back to Egypt. Nothing takes God by surprise. He knows exactly what we are going to do in any situation and many times leads us around those things. But there are times He allows us to go through them in order to strengthen us and grow us. God then led them to the Red Sea where they had their last encounter with Pharaoh’s army as they went through on dry ground and the army of Pharaoh perished in the sea. Now we see in chapter 15:22 that Moses brought them from the Red Sea into the wilderness of Shur and traveled three days and found no water. They came to Marah where they found water but it was bitter and they could not drink it. The people complained to Moses asking him what they were going to drink. He went before the Lord and God showed Moses a tree which when it was cast into the water it became sweet and drinkable. It was here that God made before them a statute and ordinance which was; if they did what the Lord wanted, then God would bless them. These same laws are viable today; but many people want the blessings of God without the obedience to God. There are some who have material blessings and carnal Christians get material blessings confused with spiritual blessings. Material blessings consist of things like fine houses, expensive automobiles, or plenty of money. Those things cannot be compared to the things of God which include the peace of God, joy in the Lord and contentment only God can give. There at Marah God proved them or tested them so they may learn to depend on Him. He didn’t test them to see how they would react; He already knew how they would react. As I already said nothing takes God by surprise. They didn’t know it but they were going to have to depend on Him and need Him for many years, not just that day. After they had drunk from the waters God led them on to Elim where there were trees for shade and water to drink and they got some refreshment. After a few days they took their journey into the wilderness of Sin and the entire congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron and said they wished they had died in Egypt where they had plenty to eat instead of dying there in the wilderness due to hunger. It was here that God told Moses that he was going to send bread from Heaven and the people would go and gather it as they were commanded, that God may prove them to see if they would walk in God’s ways or not. And we all know they failed miserably for they went out and gathered manna and tried to hold it over from one day to the next and it stank and bred worms. Then they were told to gather twice as much on the sixth day because there would be none on the Sabbath Day and the people ignored that as well. Some Christians want to know why God isn’t blessing them; maybe it is because they are not obeying Him. God will prove us and test us in our lives in order to strengthen us and help us better obey Him. God tested Israel in four distinct ways which we want to take a look at this week.
He tested them first of all in their walk. Remember 13:17 where He led them around the Philistines to protect them from war? Then in 13:21 He leads them and in 14:2 He tells them where to set up camp. Over in Numbers 21:4 after they utterly destroyed the Canaanites He led them by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom but they were much discouraged because of the way. Why couldn’t they remember that God does a good job in leading His children? They were discouraged and because of it they murmured and complained about the food they were eating. Then God led them to Kadesh Barnea and they feared to cross Jordan and they were turned out into the wilderness for forty years. After that time, after all the men above thirty years old had died the younger ones came again to Kadesh Barnea in Joshua 3 and may have possibly remembered that God had brought them to this place before and they willingly crossed this time for they didn’t want forty more years in the wilderness.
Next, He tested them in their need of water. Every human has a need for water. A body can’t live long without that necessary substance. God tested them in this area as we see here in Ex. 15. They came to Marah and asked Moses what shall we drink? He led them to another place in Ex. 17 where Moses was to smite the rock and bring water to the people. They still hadn’t learned their lesson though for they are yet again thirsty in Numbers 20 and Moses was to speak to the rock but in his anger of the people he smote it and because of his disobedience he was forbidden to enter the Promised Land.
Then God tested them in the want or need for food. God gave them manna to eat and they were dissatisfied with it and later even came to loathe it. In Numbers 21 it is told they came to the land of Edom and the people were discouraged because of the way and they spake against God and Moses, asking why they had been brought up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness where there is no water and they loathed this light bread. The term light bread insinuated it had no nutrients or substance about it; but didn’t they eat on it for forty years? It had to have something within it to keep them alive. This is when God sent fiery serpents into the camp and many of the people died because of the bite. Again the people failed miserably in their test. But how are we doing with ours?
Lastly God tested them in their worship. Moses went upon the mountain to receive the laws and as he was gone several days the people began to talk among themselves and went to Aaron to make them gods which shall go before them for they didn’t know what had happened to this man Moses who brought them out of Egypt. They had their eyes on the wrong person. It was God who brought them out of Egypt not Moses but men get their eyes on the wrong thing sometimes. They were looking to Moses and not God and many today worship people, places, programs, or possessions. But let me ask; when the people are gone what will they worship? When the place changes what will they do? When the programs fall apart will they? When the possessions dwindle, what will they do then? We have a God who never changes and our worship of Him doesn’t ever have to change either.
What if God were to test us today? O, He does; He tests us every day but we sometimes never recognize it. When that appliance breaks down how do we handle it? When that friend talks bad about us how do we respond? When our bank account gets low how do we react? God knows where He is taking us and He is proving us, strengthening us, to make us ready for the journey if we allow Him to. We can let Him do His job and make us stronger or we can go on in our weakened and anemic state and never be of any help to God or anyone else. The choice is ours.