Summary: A study in the book of Exodus 17: 1 –16

Exodus 17: 1 –16

Did you fail the test?

17 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?” 3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!” 5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?” 8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; 16 for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

How do you like tests? If you thought that life’s tests were over when you finished school, guess again. There are many tests in life, and they can be much more difficult than chemistry or physics. And there isn’t that much homework we can do to prepare for these kinds of tests, either. You would like to think that there will come a time in your life when you are finished being tested. My response is – ‘Think Again!’

Every individual faces his or her own unique tests and challenges. We might wish the other fellow’s tests upon ourselves, but our tests are ours and ours alone to deal with. What tempts one person may not tempt the next. What is difficult for me might be simple for you, and vice versa. If we remember that the challenge of the moment is, in fact, a test, we might be better able to handle it and pass the test.

We don’t always realize that this may just be our very own personal, spiritual challenge, perhaps even the most important one of our entire existence. We don’t necessarily appreciate that our souls might have come down to this world for the express purpose of passing these tests.

So we rationalize -- If there is a God in the world, why? _____[You can fill in the blanks]

As believers in the Holy Son of God we come to know that if we accept the concept of a test of faith, then it becomes easier to deal with the challenges, as formidable as they may be.

The question remains: Why does God test us? Is it really—as our Bibles explain—“to know whether we do, in fact, love God with all our heart and soul”? Doesn’t God know all that already? How will we enlighten Him one way or the other? Is there anything God does not know?

The answer is that it is not for God to know, but for us to know. Of course, God knows. But He places tests and obstacles in our path, so that when we overcome them we develop and bring to the fore the inner, latent love of God that was always there inside our hearts and souls.

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