Intro: Many years ago A.J. Gordon went to the World’s Fair. From a distance he saw a man pumping water with one of those old hand pumps. The water was pouring out and he said as he looked, "That man is really pumping water." But when he got closer, he discovered that it was a wooden man connected to a pump powered by electricity. The man was not pumping the water, the water was pumping him.
When we try to live life in our own power, it only leads to a wilderness of complaining, moaning and groaning. However, as we allow God to have control supernatural results happen. People see us from a distance and say man they are really getting it done.
The closer they get the more they realize God is making the results happen in and through us!!
God will sometimes lead us into the wildernesses of life to see how we will respond. Will we respond as the clay and be molded by the potter into a beautiful vessel, or will we respond as unheated metal when stretched we break.
I. Wilderness travel is not always easy
a. Petition of God’s People
i. God’s people had cried out to God
ii. Exodus 2.23-24 They cried out and God heard them.
b. Provision of God: A Liberator
i. He sent Moses to Lead them out of Egypt
ii. Prince to Prophet and Pastor
c. Place of bitterness
One of the First places they come to Marah (bitter place)
i. Exodus 1.14 the egyptians made their lives bitter w/ labor
ii. When in Marah they did not cry out to God.
d. People’s response to bitter circumstances
i. 22.24 They grumbled griped and complained.
1. What happened to our Egyptian StarBucks
2. Where is Taco bell, Burger King, McDees
ii. They had no reason to complain.
1. Illustration Milos Sarcev
Don’t complain and talk about all your problems--80 percent of people don’t care; the other 20 percent will think you deserve them.
But God will listen!
2. Life circumstances are sometimes hard to stomach like the bitter water of Marah
a. But when you trust in the Lord and call on Him circumstances will not crush you.
b. Phil 4.5-7 Don’t let Wilderness worry rule you life.
Turn to God in the wilderness and allow him to make the bitter waters sweet.
II. Wilderness water is not always sweet
a. God’s promises do not always lead to sweets.
God did not promise that lifes travels would always be sweet
b. God’s promise to be with us.
i. Pillar of Cloud and smoke (Ex 13.21) (Day and night)
ii. The sweetness of Life depends on your source
c. God’s Provision after Moses Petition.
i. When Moses cried out to God, God provided a way to make the waters sweet.
ii. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh
1. God our provider.
2. In wilderness of life God will make our stagnat waters sweet. (But we must call on Him) Ex 15.25 Moses did
iii. God made the bitter waters sweet with a tree.
iv. Tree is a shadow of Calvary
v. Elim: Twelve wells of water, seventy palm trees suggests rest and refreshment.
1. God is here revealed to the Israelites as Jehovah Rawfaw. The God who heals.
2. Those in right relationship with Yahweh can be healed of their infirmities and iniquities.
a. This should spring to mind the suffereing servant.
Isaiah 53.1-12 Read
3. The word used in Isaiah 53.5 is rafa.
a. God all the way in Exodus wanted to heal His people of their sins and diseases!!!!!
b. God has always wanted to people to call on Him for healing and provision!!!!!
vi. Life is sweet when your at Jesus feet.
vii. Christ hung a tree. The old rugged cross
1. The cross takes bitterness of sin and turns it to blessing of salvation.
2. The cross can take all bitter things and make them sweet. Refreshment from the redeemer.
viii. When the bitterness of life cause you to grumble, moan, and complain. Know that God has already thrown Christ into the waters of life and life gets sweet when you kneel at Jesus feet
III. Wilderness worship not wilderness worry
a. Worry Warts instead of Worshippers.
i. The children of Israel should not have worried about water.
ii. God’s Marvelous works
1. Plagues on Egypt –Freedom from the false God’s of Egypt.
a. 1. Nile turned to blood Khnum creator of water and life
Hapi the Nile god
Osiris—the Nile his bloodstream
2. Frogs Heket – goddess of childbirth whos symbol was the frog.
3. Lice no deity known
4. Flies no deity known
5. Pestilence in cattle
Hathor – mother and sky goddess whose symbol was the cow ; or
Apis – the bull god.
6. Boils No known deity.
7. Hail Seth god of wind and storms
8. Locusts Isis—goddess of life; or
Min – goddess of fertility and vegetation and protector of crops
10. Darkness The sun deities, Amon-Re, Atum, Horus
b. Pharoahs heart: Hardening of pharaohs heart
1. kaved, 10.1
2. Hebrew word for “to make heavy”
3. Egyptians heart weighed on balance with a feather as a counterweight.
a. Pure heart balance of heart and feather – enter into eternal life.
b. “To say that the Pharaoh had a hard (heavy heart) meant that he was no deity. Instead, he was no more than an ordinary mortal whose “heavy” heart would lead to his destruction at the hand of the lord of all creation.” Tullock Old testament story.
c. When we worship dead, hard, false Gods, our heart becomes, dead, hard and will lead to destruction.
2. parted the Red Sea! (Nothing is a barrier for God’s power)
3. He destroyed one of the greatest armies at that time.
a. Phroah frustrated, Mighty armies massacred.
b. What’s a little water problem?
iii. Wilderness Journies in life should lead to Worship of Jehovah Jireh. (not worry)
1. When the walls of Jericho fell the worship leaders were in the front. (Levites led )
2. Victory is led by worship (because God inhabits the praise of His people
iv. You can’t worship who you don’t know.
1. Wilderness Journies and bitter times often come our way to turn us to God.
2. The one who can provide our every need.
Conclusion: God wants so much to reveal to us He is the Lord who hears, The Lord Who provides. He hears and understands our cries of bitterness. Our living Lord wants to reveal He is Jehovah Rafa. The God who heals. The cross can turn your bitter waters of life into sweet waters of peace, provision, promise, and God’s supernatural presence in your life.
What wilderness times are you experiencing?
God wants you to know that He will provide!
Will you call on Him and worship Him in the wilderness?