Summary: Message 9 in our journey through Exodus. This message explores the incident of water from the rock.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
"Quenching Thirsty Souls” Exodus 17:1-7
What God attempted to teach Israel about pursuing His promise through the wilderness of a fallen world, we need to learn. The experiences that Israel faced on their walk through the wilderness toward the promise, we also will face in the wilderness of this whacked-out world on our way toward the realization of God’s promise of abundant life.
I. God provided deliverance from Egypt 1-15
II. God prepared for the development of trust 15-18
A. Bitter water made sweet by the “tree” (The Cross) 15:22-27
After the salvation experience many lessons remain to be learned along the way. We can only manage the bitter experiences encountered in a fallen world without developing a bitter heart by understanding the power of the Cross of Christ in our daily life. Learning to die to the pull of our sinful passions enables us to avoid the bitterness caused by a temporal perspective on life’s disappointments and disasters. The test is simple. If our mouth is complaining, our sinful passions are controlling. If we are griping, we are not trusting. The presence of frustration reveals the absence of faith. You cannot trust God with your heart and test God with your attitude and mouth. First we must learn to die to our own passions and submit to His.
We must deny our flesh life in order to fully realize our spiritual life. The refreshing wells of Elim represent the spiritual refreshment that comes from relinquishing our agenda and embracing His plan for our life.
B. Hunger Satisfied by manna (The Word) 16
The second major lesson we must all master has to do with daily nourishment of the soul through interaction with the Word of God. Manna represents daily interaction with the Word of God (both written and living). Two defining passages focus on this critical element to our spiritual health and development.
"He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3
Jesus quoted this passage when Satan tempted Him to elevate the physical over the spiritual.
Jesus made clear spiritual connections regarding hunger, manna, His words and spiritual life in a benchmark sermon to his followers John 6.
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63
Physical hunger and thirst indicate the absence of some critical element the body needs to sustain life. Spiritual hunger and thirst indicate the absence of some critical spiritual element the soul needs to sustain spiritual life. The words of God and the words of Jesus are spiritual and they impart life to the soul.
Spiritual life cannot survive without spiritual nourishment from interaction with the Word. The Word of God sustains life on the spiritual level of life.
Jesus boldly declared…
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:48-51
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:53-54
This call to complete surrender and absolute daily dependence on Jesus to satisfy spiritual hunger was too much for the crowd only following Jesus for selfish reasons. Fill their stomach.
Put on a good show. Make life more comfortable. We need this daily interaction with God’s truth because it is so easy to lose eternal perspective in the face temporal problems. The experiences of life can quench thirst when we apply the principles of the cross. Daily interaction with the truth of God will provide nourishment needed to continue our walk. The next wilderness lesson once again addressed thirst. Here we discover another crucial element necessary to sustain spiritual life and quench the thirst that burns in every believer’s soul.
C. Thirst quenched by water from the Rock (The Spirit) 17:1-7
Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.