Exodus 17…When you think of God’s blessings, what do you think that means? Do you think it means that your life will be smooth and full of only good things once you decide to follow Jesus? Sometimes, that is what is promised by televangelists. But, is that what the Bible (words of God) teaches? After your joy at the revelation that Jesus really is the Savior and He wants to save you and you accept, then what? That experience can be so uplifting and full of joy! Your life is miraculously changed! But, what happens when we go back to real life in the world where things now seem boring, routine, or maybe even troubled? We might even doubt our salvation experience with Jesus.
Did I really get saved? Did I do something wrong that He left me?
We find the same pattern/situation in Exodus. They were miraculously saved from plagues and worldly Egypt and left in great joy and triumph. They passed through the baptism waters of the Red Sea. Then, they found themselves in the wilderness where things did not look so good to them anymore. They questioned if they could survive. They wondered if God was still with them. Life became trodding along feeling like they were getting nowhere.
But God! Every time they run into need or trouble, He helps them. He uses each situation and experience to teach, instruct, and train them. Every time they face big trouble, He reveals Himself in another name. In Egypt when they cried out, He introduced Himself as I AM. When they could not escape, He became Deliverer and Redeemer. When He turned the bitter waters to sweet and drinkable, He informs them that obedience to Him brings healing. He is the Lord who heals. When He meets their needs for food, He is their Provider of manna bread and quail meat. When an enemy comes against them in chapter 17, He is now their Banner of Victory!
Jesus told us that in this world there would be trouble, but rejoice because He has overcome the world…and He will save us as we go through it. Plus, as we go through the hard times in this world, we will come to know Him more, who He is, how He works (His ways), and that we can always trust Him. Going through tough times together makes an intimate companion relationship with Him grow stronger and makes us more humble and exceedingly thankful! We can learn so much through studying Exodus!