The Wilderness Test

Exodus 17:1-7 is a wonderful portrayal of God’s wandering people and his unwavering commitment to them.

After the exodus from Egypt, the people demand water from the LORD.  They don’t ask, they don’t pray, they demand.  God commands Moses to strike the rock and water flows out.

Paul taught us (1 Corinthians 10:5-6) that we are to learn from Israel’s example in the wilderness.

Like Israel, we too are sojourners who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who have crossed over to the other side by grace, and who are now on the way to the promised land.  In this faith journey, in our wilderness, God is sanctifying us and teaching us to trust him, love him, and follow him.

Bible Study Notes

Here are some notes from this passage:

  1. Redeemed people can often subtly turn into entitled people.
  2. When Israel had needs, they demanded him instead of asking him.
  3. It is easy to live as if we deserve God’s provision.  The only thing I deserve is hell.
  4. God was testing the people but not tempting the people.  They had the glorious opportunity to pass.
  5. It is God’s job to test us but never the other way around (Ex. 17:2).
  6. Moses’ leap of faith was not done in private (Ex. 17:5).
  7. The rock served as a substitute since the people are the ones who deserved to be struck (Ex. 17:6).
  8. In their sin, God still provides.
  9. Never ever doubt God’s presence (Ex. 17:7).
  10. The innocent rock was struck in the place of the sinful people and water flowed from it to provide life.
  11. Jesus is the innocent Rock (1 Cor. 10:4) who was struck in the place of sinful people (Is. 53:5) and water flowed from his side (John 19:34) to provide eternal life (John 4:14).
  12. May I ever live with Phil. 2:14-15 as my motto!  To shine as a light in this culture, I must stop whining!