Summary: The Children of Israel
Title: A Frustrating Walk
Text: Exodus 19:3-6; Various
Series: The Walk Series; #6
Introduction: Just one week ago we talked of the incredible walk that the children of Israel began with God. They were God’s chosen people and He had proved His love for them by completely overcoming their Egyptian captors. They were nothing but a bunch of slaves yet God had chosen them. As the walk on the other side of the Red Sea begins, God gives these words to the children of Israel. They’re found in Exodus 19:3-6.
Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4’You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.
Just what is a treasured possession? It’s something that you cherish. God was promising to cherish the children of Israel as long as they kept Him first. As long as they obeyed and followed, they would have a walk full of rejoicing. This is what God had in mind for Israel. The truth of the matter was far different. Israel didn’t do the things they were required to do and their walk was a walk that was far from rejoicing. As in any good walk though, there are lessons for us to consider. Taking our lessons directly from the children of Israel, we’re going to look at five ways in which we can have a frustrating walk with God.
I. Grumble about the provisions.
Exodus 16:1-3 read as following.
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
Add to that Israel’s attitude Exodus 17:1-3.
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?"
Human beings have an incredible ability to trust God one moment and then completely turn on Him when things get bad. Believers through the generations have had the challenge of trusting God for our daily needs even when it seems impossible. The prosperity of our nation has sometimes blinded us to the truth of simply walking and trusting God. When we open our fridge, we expect food to be there. When we turn on the faucet, we expect water to come out. We see all the bounty and rejoice in God’s provision. What if the fridge and cupboards were empty when we walked to them? What if there was no water? Would we continue rejoicing and trusting or would we begin worrying and complaining? How easy it would be to become the children of Israel and gripe and grumble against God. We do not need to do so. God is our provider and He will watch out for us.
II. Trust someone else to hear from God.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.