Topic: From Sin to Rephidim (Self Assessment 174)
We have been following Israel since their deliverance from the hands of Pharaoh at the Red Sea. We have seen how they, from there, moved to the deserts of Shur where the water was bitter till the Lord healed it, to Elim where they found 12 springs and camped there.
We have also followed them from Elim to the desert of Sin where they complained of no food till the Lord gave them Manna and Quail. Throughout the journey, we see Israel grumble anytime there was a challenge to be overcome, and we see the Lord try, through Moses, to get them to understand His ways.
But was Israel going to learn from the Lord and walk with Him as He deserves, or they were going to remain stiff-necked and stubborn; blaming God for every challenge? If that was to happen, will the Lord abandon them in the desert and choose another “nation” for His pleasure and purpose? For answers to these and more, let’s zoom straight into today’s discussion.
Text: Exodus 17: 1- 7
1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Amen
1. Kindly read verse 1 again:
a) How does Israel’s travel from one place to another help your understanding of life’s journey?
b) Israel’s journey was both interesting and perilous. They travel to one place and have no water; to another they find water but it’s bitter till the Lord heals it; then to another where there is plenty of water but no food; then to another where there is plenty of both water and food; and then to another where there is no water at all but food. How is this true about life?
2. In verse 2, we see Israel quarrel with Moses while complaining about God again regarding their situation. Why did they always want to grumble and blame God through Moses for each challenge they encountered? Also, why would they always refer to Egypt as better when they complained? What did that imply?
3. In verse 4, we see that instead of Moses just crying or complaining to God regarding the people he was leading, he also asked God of what to do. Why is this a better option for all leaders than to simply cry unto God in agony?
4. From verse 5-6, we see the Lord provide a solution to the people even though they complained and grumbled. How does this describe the kind of God we serve?
5. Why did Moses call the place Massah and Meribah? Is it good to test the Lord? Is it best to be saying “is the Lord among us or not?” Kindly explain your answers.
6. What have you learnt from today’s Bible study?
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