TROUBLES WHILE IN THE WILL OF GOD
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Exodus 17 : 1-16
“Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.” - Exodus 17:1
Having obeyed the voice of the Lord and set out on their journey, the Israelites would have expected everything to be smooth from then on. But from the key verse, we see that they reached a place where there was no water to drink— it was the will of God for them to journey yet they faced problems. From the above we come to understand that one can be in the will of God yet face great problems simultaneously.
What was the Israelites’ reaction to this situation? They went after Moses even to the point that Moses felt that they would not hesitate to stone him. When faced with a difficult situation after doing what is right, we also have a tendency to blame others/circumstances or presume all kinds of things, not realizing that we are in a spiritual warfare and have to see certain adversities in that perspective. Hence we are called not to war in the flesh but to put on the full armour of God and war in the spirit: Ephesians 6:12-13 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
Understand why God places people under His established authority: God put His people under Moses whom He had trained for 40 years in the wilderness. Moses being led by the Spirit knew the right approach to the situation was to seek God, for only He could bring about the solution. So He approaches God on behalf of the people. A child of God is rightly to be always led by the Holy Spirit: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) But sometimes due to extreme sorrow or pain, etc. we are unable to respond or react rightly. At such times let us approach the authority set by God to help lead us back on to the track and not be like the Israelites.
Just when everything seems to be solved, another bigger problem comes up. Amalek came out of nowhere for no reason and fought against them. So Moses had to instruct Joshua to choose men and fight them. Hasn’t this happened to many of us? One after another, problems keep cropping up. But this also should not surprise us for it is written in James 1: 2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
What do we need when faced with repeated set of problems? We need godly wisdom to handle the situation, steadfastness in faith and the support of other believers both through prayer and help. James 1:5-8 says “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting…. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” We see Aaron and Hur lifting up Moses tired hands until the battle that Joshua and his men fought became victories. 2 Cor.2:14 says,“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…”
Just like how the Lord had sworn that He would war with Amalek until they were annihilated, our God will war against the enemies of the His Kingdom until the end.
"When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."-Isaiah 43:2&3 [NLT]
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