Summary: What to do after a great answer to prayer.
A. THE INNER SIN OF ISRAEL RETURNS – EXODUS 17:1-7
1. Some problems come from circumstances. “There was not water for the people to drink” (17:1).
a. Time of year.
b. Hadn’t God led them?
c. Weren’t they in a desert?
2. What was their past sin? Complaining/criticism (14:11-12; 15:24; 16:2). If you don’t conquer a sin, it will return with more vengeance.
3. Why does God let us end up in a hard place? To focus on our weaknesses. Because of criticism they died in the desert.
4. Where is most of the criticism directed? Person of authority/leader. “Murmured against Moses” (v. 3). The root is self, we want control and authority.
5. What comes after criticism? Eliminate the leader. “They are almost ready to stone me” (v. 4).
6. What to do when criticized? Get help. “Take with thee the elders of Israel” (v. 5).
7. Remind critics of leading thus far. “Take . . . the rod, the one you used when you struck the waters of the Nile” (v. 5, LB).
8. Take your place up front. “Walk on ahead of the people” (v. 5, LB).
9. Face criticism with the presence of God. “I will meet you by the rock” (v. 6).
10. God loves symbols. Used symbolic actions, “Strike the rock and water will come pouring out” (v. 6).
11. Watch out for the twin inner weaknesses:
a. Disbelief and disobedience. Which comes first?
12. We need the twin strengths.
a. Faith and vision. Can’t have one without the other.
13. Why does Moses make a memorial of their failure?
a. Massah = temptation; they tempted God.
b. Meribah = strife; they criticized Moses.
c. Scars remind us of hurt, failure or accident.
B. THE OUTWARD ATTACK BY AMALEK – EXODUS 17:8-18
1. When are we attacked by evil? Immediately after God’s work. “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel” (v. 8). Pray most and pray hardest after a spiritual victory.
2. Who were the Amalekites? Grandson of Essa, who was “born according to the flesh” (Gal. 4:22-29). Battles come from “lust of the flesh (satisfy body), lust of the eyes (money and things), pride of life (ego and power).
Inner Flesh Is Ignited By Outer Temptation
These are good when used for the right purposes, but dominate us when used for evil purposes.
3. Why did Amalek attack Israel? Water rights. The flesh attacks us when we deny what the flesh thinks is his.
4. Five secrets to defeating Amelek/the flesh.
(1) Take a stand, commitment and determination. “Stand on top of the hill” (v. 9).
(2) Use God’s instruments/methods. “With the rod of God” (v. 9).
(3) You must pray. “When Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed” (v. 11).
(4) Prayer helpers. “Aaron and Hur held up his hands” (v. 12).
(5) Apply victory techniques as you pray. “Choose . . . men, and go out and fight Amelek” (v. 9).
5. Six attitudes to defeating the flesh.
(1) God is your first line of defense. “I will stand on the top of the hill” (v. 9).