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When God Tests

Exodus 17:1-7, Andrew Love, September 24, 2017

Sermon Notes:


  • Growing older is not easy
    • Examples
  • There are many blessings
    • Respect
    • Lev 19:32
    • Timothy was to respect older men and women
    • Grey hair is the splendor of old age
  • As you grow old there are dangers and blessings
    • Examples: (inc Noah, Moses, Hezekiah)
    • Ecc 7:10 - there can be a tendency to cynicism/nostalgia
    • Ex 17:7 - "Is the LORD among us or not?"
      • A danger for both young and old alike
    •  The Israelites doubted God
  • Overview:
    • The evidence that God was with them
    • The problem was unbelief
    • The solution is to remember who God is

The evidence that God was with them

  • The people had obeyed God but they felt God was not with them
    • God led them by a pillar of cloud at day and fire at night
    • God had opened the red sea, all their enemies had been destroyed
  • 15:22 - just three days later their attitude had changed
    • They were complaining because the water was bitter (15:24)
    • God changed the bitter water to sweet water
    • God led them to a place of 70 palm trees and 12 wells (15:27)
  • God leads them to the Wilderness of Sin and their food runs out
    • They were complaining again (16:3)
    • They looked back to Egypt's food and forgot their slavery
    • They were doubting God
  • God provides bread (manna) from heaven
    • They want meat also - so God gives quail from heaven
  • God gives every evidence of Himself to Israel
  • One more trial (chapter 17)
    • God was testing them
    • They fail the test asking "Is the LORD among us or not?"
    • They blame God (and others)
  • They were not trusting in the living God

The problem was unbelief

  • Do not harden your hearts
    • The people came to the worst conclusions (v3)
    • When God is testing us, we must wait upon Him
  • Psalm 106
    • Do we see what God is doing? (106:7)
    • Are we thankful for what God has done for us? (106:7)
    • They had forgotten who God was (106:13)
    • Explanation
    • They did not wait upon/for God counsel (106:17)
      • Do we listen to God
  • The people became very angry
    • They were ready to stone Moses (v4)
    • Anger can be expressed in different ways
    • Do not test God - Psalm 95:8
  • God's people can harden their hearts
    • Due to unbelief
  • 1 Cor 10:9-12
    • A commentary
    • Do not be like these people who tempted God

The solution is to remember who God is

  • Remember who God is
    • God vindicated His servant (v5)
  • We have the Word of God - which is our sole authority
    • We are to fear and reverence Him
  • Psalm 78:15, 16, 20
    • God would bring streams and rivers, gushing and overflowing from the rock
  • Psalm 81:16
    • He would have brought honey from the rock
  • 1 Cor 10:4
    • They drank of the Spiritual rock - Jesus Christ
  • Whether you are young or old, look to the Rock in times of testing and temptation
    • Remember all of God's promises
    • Exceedingly, abundantly, above what we can think
    • Do not become cynical
    • Do not despise the day of small things
    • Praise God

Closing Remarks

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church

Sermon Passage:

Exodus 17:1-7

17:1 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (ESV)

Other sermons:
Earlier: Same day: Later:
« Look to Jesus Christ Parable of the Wedding Banquet Parable of the Ten Virgins »

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