Summary: To lead the people to understand how the Lord guides, provides and corrects us during our journeys of faith.
Water for Thirsty Travelers Exodus 15:22-27
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how the Lord guides, provides and corrects us during our journeys of faith.
Illustration:F.E. Marsh has enumerated some of God’s blessings:
An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Ephesians 1:6).
An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5).
A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Corinthians l:10).
A grace that can never be limited (2 Corinthians 12:9).
A hope that can never be disappointed. (Hebrews 6:18, 19).
A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (I Colossians 3:21-23).
A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11).
A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Ephesians 2:13).
A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27).
A righteousness that can never be tarnished (2 Corinthians 5:21).
A salvation that can never be canceled (Hebrews 5:9).
2. Explanation of the Aim: As Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea and into the Shur Desert, the masses became thirsty. Instead of stopping to pray and ask God for a solution to their problem, the people found the water at Marah too bitter to drink. Immediately the people complained to Moses saying,
What are we going to drink? They demanded a quick solution to their problem with a belligerent attitude. In effect the grumbling against Moses and Aaron were complaints against the Lord. Paul wrote, Do not grumble as some of them did B and were killed by a destroying angel. (I Cor. 10:10)
The Lord urges us to do everything without complaining or arguing so that we may become blameless and pure. (Phil. 2:14,15) The people who God uses are those who trust God for His guidance, provision and corrections with a submissive heart.
3. The Bible Story: It is not uncommon for the Lord to lead us to places where we face physical, emotional or mental inadequacies. Similarly, the people of Israel had gone three days in the wilderness without a drink of water. Even though they found water at Marah, it was too bitter to drink. God has the right to do whatever He wants in our life. Sometimes the Lord allows conditions to get worse so that we can learn to trust Him to make things better. Instead of asking the Lord for a solution to their problem, the people of Israel complained bitterly to Moses. God dislikes people to demand immediate answers to their problems with a belligerent attitude. Graciously, God gave Moses a solution to the problem. He instructed Moses to take a branch and throw it into the water. Instantly, the water became pure, fresh and healthy to drink. The Lord uses bitter times in our lives to test our faithfulness. Allow the Lord to make you better rather than bitter from every trial.
4. Help people think about their reaction to difficult circumstances. Ask the people what do they do when they get hungry and thirsty? Ask the people if they complain to their parents when they do not get what they want? Find out if they people know what God thinks about complainers who demand satisfaction? (Phil. 2:13,14)
5. The BIBLE STORY teaches us how the Lord provides for the needs of His people in His way, in His time and through His servants. Help the people learn how to avoid complaining against God when they face various difficulties. Show the people how to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let their requests be made known to God.
6. Give the people an opportunity to make applications from the lesson. Ask the people what they should do when they face hardships? Find out if the people know how to advise brothers or sisters who make a habit of complaining? Find out if the people can explain the meaning of Phil. 2:13,14 to other members of the class.
7. Help the people to think about their reaction to difficult circumstances. Ask the people what do they do when they get hungry and thirsty? Ask the people if they complain to their parents when they do not get what they want? Find out if they people know what God thinks about complainers who demand satisfaction? (Phil. 2:13,14)
8. There are times when we will have to make a choice between complaining or thanking God for our predicaments. When the people of Israel had walked for three days without water they chose to complain against God for their trial. Many of the people demanded that Moses do something quickly about quenching their thirsty lips. When the people discovered water at Marah they found the water to be so bitter that they could not drink it. Many of the people panicked. People who are controlled by their fear, worry or anger are not able to be led by the Spirit of God. The mind set on fleshly appetites is opposed to God’s will in everyway. The Lord wanted the people to learn to trust Him in little things so that He could make them responsible for bigger tasks.