28 October 2014

BSF 2014-2015: Exodus 15:22-18:27

Just three days after crossing the Red Sea, we now see the Israelites complaining about bitter water. They trusted God to help them cross the Red Sea and defeat Pharaoh. But now they grumble and complain. God tells Moses to put a piece of wood in the water. Moses obeys. Then God uses the wood to make the water sweet.

Then in another 27 days (30 days after the Passover), the whole Israelite community grumbles again. They are hungry and thirsty. They wish they had died in Egypt!

God again provides for them, this time through manna. He instructs them to gather one omar (two quarts) per person, per day and a double portion on the sixth day. If the people keep any leftovers, they are spoiled and become maggots.

God promises to provide for the people every day. God provides daily bread to us today through His Word, the Bible. We must feed on the Word of God every day.

The grumbling and complaining are not over. (This is a pattern that the people will repeat several times during our study this year!) This time they complain about not having water. Once again, Moses intercedes for the people, and God answers Moses’ prayer. God instructs Moses to strike a rock with his staff. Water comes out of the rock for all of the people. The rock is a picture of Jesus, and the water is a picture of the Holy Spirit.

The Israelites don’t recognize their sin of putting God to the test, and they don’t repent. But God continues to show His goodness on their lives. Our lack of repentance doesn’t change God’s character, but it changes how God looks at us. We must repent to make our relationship right with God.

Next, the Amalekites attack the Israelites. Joshua leads the Israelites on the battlefield, and Moses leads them on the battle hill. God brings victory when Moses raises his hands during the battle. God uses both Joshua and Moses to win the battle. Both of them have equal jobs, and they depend on each other. This story shows that prayer and action go hand-in-hand.

At the end of this week’s lesson, we see God using Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, to give godly advice to Moses. Jethro hears how God is delivering the Israelites. So Jethro visits Moses and praises God for His deliverance of the Israelites.

Jethro sees Moses settling disputes among the people. Jethro tells Moses that he is working too hard and will wear himself out. Jethro gives advice to Moses and challenges him to confirm this advice with God. If someone gives me advice, I must check it against God’s Word and prayer.

Jethro tells Moses to seek help and delegate his authority. He suggests that Moses find capable men who fear God, are trustworthy and hate dishonest gain. These men will sit as judges for the people. But Moses can judge the biggest disputes.

God uses Jethro to mentor and encourage Moses. Jethro helps Moses focus on his main purpose, which is representing the people before God.

Things to Think About

  • When God tests me, He reveals what is in my heart. When is the last time God tested me? How did I respond?
  • When is the last time I tested God?
  • Moses prayed to God for help and then immediately obeyed when God gave him instructions. Do I question God or immediately obey Him?
  • How often do I move immediately from praising to grumbling?
  • Complaining shows a lack of trust in God. Complaining can lead to sin. When I catch myself complaining, choose to stop and pray.
  • God is with us on the battlefield, whether we’re fighting or praying for those who are fighting.
  • When God calls us to do something, we must give it our best prayers, energy and time.
  • We can do good, better and best activities. What “good” or “better” thing do I need to stop doing so I can be fully devoted to the “best?”