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Summary: Moses listened the complaints, Moses brought the complaints to God, & Moses responded to the complaints God's Way

TITLE: HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICT

TEXT: EXODUS 17:1-7

INTRODUCTION

- We’re continuing our study through the book of Exodus.

- As we study each passage, we’re asking the question, “What can I learn from this passage about honoring God?”

- Last week, we looked at the instructions God gave to Israel when He provided the manna.

- Israel was instructed to take only what they needed, they were instructed to take time to rest, and they were instructed to take time to remember.

- They learned to honor God by following the instructions He provided.

- You and I as Christians have an instruction manual, the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

- When you and I follow the instructions that God has provided to us through Scripture, we honor Him.

- Today, we’re going to look at how Moses handled a conflict that arose among the people, and what we can learn as Christians about the godly way to handle conflict.

- Conflict is never easy…

- As a matter of fact, it’s one of the hardest things we face as Christians.

- I remember years ago, when I lived in Machias, I had a roommate named Bryan.

- He was from California, and he was really annoying!

- He had a huge afro and was really immature, and he didn’t pay rent either.

- Anyways, he decided to go to a party one night.

- I didn’t know what he was up to, I just knew that he wasn’t back at the apartment when I went to sleep.

- Some time during the night, he came back to the apartment.

- In the morning, I went downstairs to make some coffee.

- To my complete surprise, there was a girl sleeping on the couch in the living room.

- I nearly had a heart attack…what was a girl doing in my apartment?!

- Turns out, Bryan had been at a party where they were smoking weed and drinking alcohol…

- Sometime during the night, the police showed up to break up the party.

- Of course, the kids at the party were all under 21, so a bunch of them took off in separate directions, not wanting to get caught.

- Apparently, the girl had left her car at the party and ran into the woods with Bryan and some other kids, but it was during late Autumn, so it was really cold outside.

- Instead of heading back to get her car, Bryan decided to bring this girl back to my apartment.

- Of course, I was angry, so as soon as Bryan woke up, I gave him a piece of my mind!

- We were Christians, and I was trying to keep a good testimony.

- By bringing that girl back to my apartment, people would obviously think the worst, and it would ruin my testimony.

- Yet Bryan insisted that it was the right thing to do because she didn’t have anywhere to go, and if they stayed in the woods all night, they’d freeze to death.

- After yelling at him for a while, we drove the girl back to get her car.

- But Bryan and I weren’t getting along…

- We were fighting with each other a lot after that.

- He didn’t think he’d done anything wrong, and he didn’t understand why I was so upset.

- So, we continued to be in conflict after that because we didn’t resolve the issue…

- Instead, one issue turned into two, then three, then four, until there were several issues, such as him being afraid of all the guns I owned.

- Eventually, he moved back to California, but before he did, we made peace with each other.

- Obviously, I hate conflict, and in that case, it escalated quickly and became an ongoing conflict.

- Thankfully, in Scripture, God tells us several ways and gives several examples of how to resolve conflict in a Biblical way.

- Here in Exodus 17, we see Moses taking the right steps to handle a very difficult conflict with the Israelites.

- So, let’s look at 3 ways that Moses handled this conflict.

FIRST: MOSES LISTENED TO THE COMPLAINTS- VS 1-3

- I used to work at Bangor Savings Bank as a teller.

- It was a good job and I worked with some great people.

- The customers were usually great to work with as well, but every once in a while, I’d have to deal with a difficult customer.

- I remember one day a gentleman came in who did not have any bank accounts with us.

- He was a bit rough looking, but the reason is because he owned his own carpentry business and had been out working all day.

- So obviously, he’d had a long day.

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