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Summary: The test was soon after the Israelite's deliverance; The test was difficult but had a solution; The test was for their benefit.

TITLE: TESTED BY GOD

TEXT: EXODUS 15:22-27

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

- As we study each passage, we’re asking the question, “What does this passage tell me about honoring God?”

- Last week, we saw the children of Israel singing a song of celebration after God miraculously parted the Red Sea for them to cross through to the other side.

- In the process, Pharaoh and his army pursued, but God caused the waters to fall in on them, completely destroying his entire army.

- So, the Children of Israel had every reason in the world to celebrate.

- They sang a song of celebration because God is victorious, because God cared for His people, and because God delivered His people.

- This week, we’re going to see the Israelites tested by God.

- When I was a kid, I hated taking tests, especially the state tests we had to take to see how much we’d learned.

- I’d get so nervous leading up to the test, and then while I was taking it, I’d be so distracted by how little time I had to take the test that I’d take too much time on certain questions and then worry about finishing the rest of the test.

- I don’t know how many times I saw the clock ticking down, and in order to finish on time, I’d circle random bubbles, hoping that I at least circled some of the correct answers.

- Educational tests aren’t fun!

- They’re stressful, especially when they have a huge impact on your final grade…

- All the midterms and finals I took in school probably took about ten years off my life!

- The most stressful test I ever took was the ASVAB, which is the test you take for the military to determine what types of jobs you qualify for and would suit you best.

- It’s got math and engineering and English problems…

- It’s a multiple choice, fill in the bubble test…

- Some of the kids taking it didn’t care how they did because they didn’t want to enlist, but I really wanted to do good on it because I wanted to go in the military.

- It didn’t help that both the Active Duty Recruiter and the National Guard Recruiter were walking around in uniform, and both of them wanted me to enlist in their Branch…

- They kept coming over, asking me how I was doing and telling me to come talk with them afterwards.

- So, any type of educational test is stressful, but that one was extremely stressful…

- When it comes to life-tests, the tests that are sent by God, many of us probably feel the same way…

- Those kinds of tests are usually stressful, they make us nervous, and we wonder how long they’re going to last…

- We stress out about whether we’re going to pass or fail the test…

- That’s where we find the children of Israel this morning, being tested by God.

- So, let’s look at three things about this test and what it meant for the Israelites.

FIRST: THE TEST WAS SOON AFTER THEIR DELIVERANCE- VS 22-23

- When I went to Army Basic Training, there were several different phases we had to go through before we could graduate as soldiers.

- Each phase had several tasks we had to successfully complete before we could move on to the next phase.

- So there was a lost of testing…everything from our Physical Training tests to the obstacle courses to the gas chamber to the rifle range qualification…

- There were a lot of tests we had to pass.

- I remember how nervous I was with each task because I wanted to pass and become a soldier…

- I didn’t want to be recycled and have to start over just because I couldn’t pass certain tests.

- So, when I passed one of the tests, I’d be really excited and proud of myself because it brought me one step closer to becoming a trained soldier.

- I’d be pumped up and feel on top of the world.

- However, soon after passing one test, the Drill Sergeants would tell us there was another test we had to prepare for.

- So those feelings of excitement didn’t last long…

- They were replaced by feelings of nervousness and anxiety, wondering if I was going to pass the next task or not.

- Here in Exodus 15, we find the Israelites having some similar feelings…

- They’ve just been delivered from Egypt and seen their enemies perish, so they’re feeling really excited; they’re on top of the world!

- The song we looked at last week, in the first 21 verses, is proof of that…

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