DCLM Search The Scripture Youth For January 22, 2023 : Topic – Israel’s Murmuring And God’s Intervention
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ISRAEL’S MURMURING AND GOD’S INTERVENTION
TEXT: Exodus 16:1-36; 17:1-16.
MEMORY VERSE: “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness” (Exodus 16:2)
The reaction of the children of Israel to the problem of lack of food and water in the wilderness reveals their spiritual state. They were so concerned and impatient about bodily provision to the point of frightening God’s servant. When a youth acts in a way an unbeliever carnally does, he frustrates the grace of God. Indeed, days of want and adversity will come; it is for a while, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). Israel failed God, but in His mercy, He gave them food and water.
Question 1: What is the danger of murmuring?
Murmuring opens the door to satanic attacks in a person’s life. Shortly after the murmuring and strife of the Israelites, they were attacked by the Amalekites. But God gave Moses the strategy to overcome the Amalekites.
THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL MURMURED AGAINST GOD (Exodus 16:1-9; 17:1-4; 14:11,12; Numbers 11:1,2; 14:2,27; 20:3-9; 21:5-7; Jude 16)
The murmuring of the children of Israel against Moses and Aaron was unreasonable; and to do so against a loving God is most ungrateful. A youth who rebels or murmurs against parents, leaders, or neighbours should realise that murmuring is a sin. Miriam was punished for speaking against his brother, Moses. “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous…” (Numbers 12:9-10). Instead of murmuring or complaining, Christian youths should rather discuss the point of disagreement with the concerned individuals privately, before considering relevant other steps that can be taken to resolve the problem and if necessary report to the leadership and be willing to allow the will of God to be done.
Murmuring is an index of impatience, prayerlessness and faithlessness. It draws one away from God; it makes one forget God and His benefits and turn one to babe in the faith. Each believer should uproot the seed of murmuring before it grows. Apostle Paul warned, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10).
Question 2: What are the implications of murmuring?
GOD’S PROVISIONS IN THE WILDERNESS (Exodus 16:10-21; 17:5-16; 15:22-26; 1 Kings 17:3-6,8-16)
“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you…” (Exodus 16:4); “…This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat” (Exodus 16:15b). Instead of raining fire and brimstone upon the Israelites, God rained bread for them for forty years. God’s attribute of showing love to those who deserve fiery judgement reveals His Kind nature to humanity. God instructed them on how to gather food, an omer for every man, for five day’s and on the sixth day, they must gather two omers for sixth and seventh days. But they disobey (Exodus 16:17,18,20,27). Christian youths should always learn to obey God’s instructions accordingly. They should also obey the instructions of leaders as specified by the scriptures. God also gave them water from the rock, to cool their thirst. What a merciful God! He did not return evil for evil but overcame evil with good. God always conquers man with His love. His love brought man out of sin. He first loved us even when we were yet in sins (1 John 4: 19; Romans 5:6-8). The provision of food (manna) and water were enough to go round for all of them in the wilderness. Youths do not need to go out of the way of righteousness to have their needs met because, “…God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Do well to trust God as a merciful and caring Father, especially during challenges. Rest on the promise of His word, in spite of poverty, storms, oppositions, provocation, persecution or criticisms (2 Chronicles 32:8). Remember that God is always faithful to His promises (Psalm 36:5). Reckon that whatever God has promised, He is able also to perform it (Romans 4:9-12). Ensure that you receive God’s daily provision by faith (Psalm 68:19). Rejoice in whatever situation you find yourself (Habakkuk 3: 17, 18).
Question 3: Mention some proofs to show God as Jehovah Jireh.
Jesus had fed three thousand, and even five thousand people before (Matthew 15:32-39; 14:15-21). In the same way, God fed Elijah through a raven and a widow (1 Kings 17:3-6,8- 16). All these prove God to be Jehovah Jireh. As Israelites gathered manna daily, youths must read the Word of God every day, morning and evening. “Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). He wants youths to thirst for spiritual water. “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37,38). We should not hear the word only but be the doer of it.
THE AMALEKITES FOUGHT AGAINST ISRAEL (Exodus 16:22-36; 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25: 17, 18; Psalm 118:8-14; 2 Samuel 15:22-25; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 1 Chronicles 29: 11-13)
“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim” (Exodus 17:8). This was the first nation that fought with Israel. The Amalekites were the descendant of Esau (Genesis 36: 12). They were a threat to Israel’s entrance into Canaan and they oppressed them on different occasions (Numbers 1:28,29; 14:39-45; Judges 3:13; 6:3-5; 1 Samuel 30:1). The attack of Amalek on Israel shows some of the wiles of the devil against believers. One, it was sudden attack. Two, the timing of the attack was strategic. Israel just left about three months; no formidable army and no weapon of war. Three, the Amalekites attack the weak and defenceless ones (Deuteronomy 25: 17, 18). And four, Amalek sustained the attack until Israel gained a permanent victory over them. Since the devil never gives up easily, we must not be tired of fighting the good fight of faith until the battle is won.
Question 4: Mention strategies Moses used against the Amalekites.
God must have given the strategy to Moses when he ordered Joshua, “…Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand” (Exodus 17:9). There are important lessons we must know. One, God is not stereotyped in His operations. The method He used to defeat the Egyptians was totally different from this. God is still involved in our lives’ battles. Two, there is an appropriate strategy for each battle in life. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Three, God could have destroyed the Arnalekites without the instrumentality of Israel but He chose to demand that they cooperate to achieve that aim. Four, the power of prayer cannot be undermined. Moses, Aaron and Hur were on the mountain praying while Joshua and his men were in the battle field. Just as Moses lifted up the rod to heaven, it is necessary for us to pray always lifting holy hands. When Moses’ hand became weak, Aaron and Hur rallied round him to ensure a lasting victory for Israel: “…and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur.”stayed up his hands…” (Exodus 17:12). As long as Moses hands were up, Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Question 5: Mention some outstanding qualities that made Joshua successful.
Joshua had some good qualities as a leader-to-be. One, he was obedient and submissive to leadership. Two, he was courageous; he went at short notice — “tomorrow”. Three, he had faith in God. He rested on the word of Moses. Israel defeated Amalek and God ordered Moses to write it for a memorial and even rehearse it in the ears of Joshua that He would utterly wipe out Amalek from the earth. The Scripture says: “…touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (1 Chronicles 16:22) and “…for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Nobody fights with God’s people and wins. Moses gave the glory and honour to God. He built an altar unto the Lord, for a memorial and called it “Jehovah Nissi” which means “The Lord is my Banner.” As a believer, whenever you are passing through persecution, trial and so on, be sure that the Lord is your Banner. He will fight for you and you will overcome them. Is the enemy confronting you? Just rest in the everlasting arm, He will fight for you and you will have the victory.