Featured Passage: Exodus 17:1-7
As the Israelites traveled across the wilderness toward the promised land, they came to a place called Rephidim. They discovered that there was no water there, and the people and their animals were very thirsty. They complained again, and blamed Moses for bringing them into the wilderness to die of thirst. Time and again they had tested God with their complaining and lack of faith. The people didn’t seem to be thankful for what God had already done for them. Would He help them out again, even with their bad attitudes?
- Testing God is not a small matter. What does it mean to “test God”?
- The people contended with Moses. To contend means to struggle against, to oppose, or to debate—to fight. In what way did the Israelites contend with Moses? Do we sometimes contend with others? What can we do to make sure we don’t?
- God demonstrated great patience and mercy in dealing with Israel. What are some other character traits that God showed when working with Israel?
- Imagine what it would be like in a desert wilderness with no food or water. If you were in their shoes, what would you have done?
- God instructed Moses to strike the rock to bring forth water. No matter what rock, no matter what type of device you use, you can strike a rock all day, and no water will come out. Do you think this miracle would help the Israelites remember Who was taking care of them?
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.