Trials, Trust, and Triumph Exodus 17

Trusting God in the journey –

Psalm 23   “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”

Which simply means that as we follow our Shepherd, He will provide!  As we study the life of our Lord, we discover that, from our viewpoint, each day He, and those following Him, met with the unexpected.  The truth revealed through study of His Word, the Bible, reveals to us that only men were surprised by the events of a day.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow…..

Ye know not…”  But God knows, so stay close and trust Him!

Let’s look at this truth today in the account given in Exodus chapter 17.

God states that His Word has been given for our learning.  We are to pray, read, and learn how to live the life that will please God.  I want to share with you this morning what I have learned from God’s Word, dealing with the account of the people of Israel as they journeyed from Egypt to Mount Sinai.  We begin by looking at their –

I.  Trial – no water 

Exodus 17:1-7  And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may 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 chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

We all know what it is like to face trials in life – those things to which there seems to be no good solution.

We look forward, backward, to the left, and to the right, but there is no answer. 

What we need to do is look up, look up to our God, our Father in Heaven. 

We must follow His leadership and as we follow, remember that He knows where we are and what our circumstances are –

“…after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD…”

Refer to –

Numbers 9:18-19  At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.

He is our Shepherd, He has given the command – “Follow me”.

He has the answer and we have learned that when Moses cried out to God, the people received the solution to their problem – water.  Water in the desert. 

They never would have imagined that water would come out from the rock. 

They never would have imagined that God would answer their need in this way. 

God taught them, and through them, He teaches us to trust Him. 

The problems that they faced taught them not only that they could trust God, but is also taught who among the people they could trust.  We need to thank God for friends, for they will stand by us in times of trials.

We also are reminded from the account Moses gave us that not only our friends notice when we are blessed by God,

those who are not our friends also notice and they come to take advantage of the blessing, even trying to take the blessing from us –

When you have a need –     

Do not be fearful – you will not drown in the lake

          Do not be anxious – you can feed 5,000

          Do not get angry – you will receive water

If you are close to God – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”

He did not say that I shall not have a need!  He will meet that need in His time.

If you have turned away from God –

                           You have reason to fear – cannot help yourself

                           You have reason to be anxious – cannot help others

                           You should be angry – but only at yourself!

II.  Trouble    The enemy now wanted the well-watered land

Exodus 17:8     Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

It seems that human nature is such that we are surrounded by people who do not care who we are or what we have until God blesses us.  When they see the blessing and how it has changed the desert into an oasis – a place of rest, they do not seek a blessing from God by turning to Him, but they seek to take the blessing from us. 

They do not want to have anything to do with God, or with us – just

the blessing.

God’s people are blessed though because we learn that when trials come, we know who we can –

III.  Trust  Exodus 17:9-12

  A.  Moses trusted Joshua

Exodus 17:9a  “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek:…”

    1.  To know who was faithful

    2.  To know who would fight.

  B.  Joshua trusted Moses

Exodus 17:9b “…to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand….”

    1.  Joshua had seen God’s faithfulness in the life of Moses.

    2.  Joshua had heard the words of Moses’ faith in God –

       “…the rod of God in mine hand…”

Joshua knew that the rod was a piece of wood, but not only a piece of wood, but the symbol of the power of God. Moses declared the power for the battle was of God and not of himself.

  C.  Moses, Joshua, and the people trusted God.

Exodus 17:10-12    So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

God received the glory both by overcoming the trial that they faced and the trouble that followed as a result of the blessing.  In God, His people have the –

IV.  Triumph

Exodus 17:13-16   And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

God won the battle for His people.  When we are attacked, seek God and His help.

Even though trials come and trouble follows, God is always with us if we have turned to Him for salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Will you trust God for salvation this morning if you are not saved?

Will you be a trusted friend when trials come into the lives of others?

Will you be a faithful friend, giving of yourselves to help others overcome trouble when it comes?

Blessings belong to the Lord, but remember, vengeance also belongs to Him – the battle is the Lord’s.  God is to receive glory in all things!

About sjbjburke

I am an evangelist that enjoys Bible study and I look forward to posting outlines and receiving helpful comments. My wife and I celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary in 2022 and we enjoy serving the Lord together.
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