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Exodus 17 - Demand & You Shall Get It

God's patience has limits. Make sure your demands don't outpace your trust!


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Exodus 17 Summary


God has just satisfied the hunger of the Israelites with manna and quail, but now they're thirsty. Yet instead trusting in the Lord, who they've now seen crush the Egyptians, open the sea, and lead them in a pillar of fire, they once again become belligerent, threatening to kill Moses (v4) and repeating their go-to complaint: why did we need to march into the desert to die? (v3)


Yet once again, God provides fresh, clean water, springing forth from as unlikely of a place as a rock in the middle of a vast desert. All the people needed to do was ask.


The second half of the chapter records the first battle against Canaanites, who happen to be their cousins, the Amalekites, the descendants of Esau.


God makes it clear that it's His strength, not theirs, that wins the battle. As long as Moses can keep his hands and staff held up to the Lord, the Israelites prevail.



Dig Deeper


The anger the Israelites demonstrate against God as they demand water turns out to be fatal. God has provided everything His people have needed, and had they simply asked for water in tall glasses full of chilled water with crushed ice and an umbrella straw, He probably would have granted it.


But they didn't ask. Instead, they assumed that they were being led to their death in a hot, dry desert, griping to Moses with hands full of rocks to put an end to him.


God grants them their immediate need and water springs forth (just as He supplies us with Living Water), but in doing so it becomes clear that this generation will need to pass away before the people are ready to enter the promised land. Psalm 95 makes it clear that it was this incident which was the last straw for God.


Know that God's patience is vast and deep, but it's not endless. The next time you're tempted to lash out in anger regarding what you don't have, take a moment to recount God's goodness to you and humbly ask for what you need.



AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Lord Is My Banner (v15)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for good recall of God's provision in the past and that you will fully trust Him in the future.

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

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