Being Free Has Its Challenges


The Challenges Of Being Free

Book of Exodus Chapter 17

We should understand that having freedom has its own high costs.

When we are totally free, then we realize that we face the responsibility of providing for ourselves.

In our nation today, far too many want to avoid this responsibility and depend on our government to provide their needs.

As a Christian, the Lord my God has promised to do this for me.

Freedom has its price, but when we are dependent upon a loving God, He makes certain promises.

Luk 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
Luk 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
Luk 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

These children of Israel never went without in all their travels!

The key is in this scripture. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God”.

God had already sent the Manna which gave them daily bread and He would continue to do this until they reached the Promised Land.

Exo 16:35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

There was never a day that Jehovah did not provide food for these rebellious people.

Notice that word “AND” and we can see Chapter 17 is linked to Chapter 16 as Chapter 16 is linked to Chapter 15 by that word “and”.

This word “and” is an important word that is used in the Word of God!

Even with food provided, there is another item even more necessary. Water.

*Exo 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Exo 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

Remember Moses and this people were being led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

It was not Moses that stopped in Rephidim it was that Angel of the Lord we know to be Jehovah, the LORD.

What is God doing, but just testing their faith!

As the children of God, He will test our faith many times all our days.

It can be said the path of “Faith” is a trial itself!

If we follow the Lord Jesus Christ as He has requested, we will encounter many things that are unpleasant and displeasing to the flesh.

Paul wrote:

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

It can be said that our flesh is our greatest enemy, as we strive to follow the lead of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The same flesh was the greatest enemy of these children of Israel!

God wants us to rely on Him and not upon this world for those things we need!

This is a painfully slow lesson for most all of us!

These people should have understood that it was just as easy for the Lord to provide water as it was for Him to part the Red Sea and to provide their daily food, that Heavenly Manna.

We should keep in mind there were two million or more of these people.

That word “pitched” meant that they would stay in this place more than a day.

The problem with every society is the fact that we all have needs for us to survive.

What does the Word of God teach?

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Notice it is the lust of the flesh that comes first.

We are always wanting something, in fact lusting for those things and this is a sin.

These children of Israel fell into whining and dissatisfaction and rebellion, and this is how we bring the “judgment” of God upon ourselves.

It is a serious lack of “faith”!

*Exo 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

To be honest, it is a terrible thing to suffer from thirst. We cannot go very long without water.

Surely the same God who could part the Red Sea could provide water for His people.

Moses was just a man; the messenger Jehovah had chosen to lead these people.

It was actually Jehovah who was leading this people, a pillar of cloud by day a pillar of fire by night.

There was a reason Jehovah stopped at Rephidim.

You see, it is these things we learn from the Books of Moses that show us how we all are.

Satan begins his processes and brainwashing at such and early age, that people just do not trust the Lord.

People trust in a world of people who have not changed very much since its beginning.

When this people came to Moses, Moses then turned to God.

As people, we are always looking for some other person to blame our troubles on.

We must understand that Jehovah does what Jehovah does anytime Jehovah wants to do it!

But we must never tempt the Lord!

Deu 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

When we complain and moan about every little thing, we are tempting the Lord!

*Exo 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Exo 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

What is an “intercessor”?

Moses was the man chosen by Jehovah to lead these people. This is never an easy task for anyone!

As their thirst increased, they became more impatient and enraged and they took it out on Moses.

We must first understand that God is going to test us from time to time.

The journey to the true Promised Land (the New Heaven) will seem to be a long one, when we are down in the valley.

As we witness this forty-year journey of the children of Israel, there will be many great lessons we can learn from and use in our own journey.

The descendants of Abraham were going to the Promised Land because it was promised to Abraham.

As Christians we are going to the New Heaven because it was promised by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most of these that left Egypt would not be among those who actually crossed the River Jordan with Joshua.

We will see why as we study the great Book of Exodus.

The things we learn the most is:

1) That we can trust Jehovah “to keep His promises”.
2) That we can depend on Jehovah “to provide our needs”.
3) That we can depend upon Jehovah “to go with us”.

Moses shows us that an “intercessor” will cry out to the Lord for others.

The greatest Intercessor of all is the Lord Jesus Christ!

The only way we can lose our salvation is for Jesus Christ to be a liar, in His role as our Intercessor!

Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

It is Moses who teaches us about being an “intercessor” in the Old Testament.

Without our Intercessor, the Lord Jesus Christ, we could never be free!

These children of Israel needed Moses much more than they realized.

As Moses did as was commanded by the Lord, we see another type in the Scriptures, the Rock.

1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

We see without a doubt that Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ are One and the Same.

Jesus said, “My Father and I are One”.

This Rock was to be “smitten” and this speaks to us of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What do we know? We know that the Lord Jesus Christ had to descend from Heaven just as the “Manna” did if He was to be the Bread of Life to all His people!

We must also know that our Lord must be smitten by “Divine Judgment” if He was to become the Water of Life!

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Out of that smitten Rock came the water and we know that water can represent the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Jesus said to those who thirst for the Holy Spirit must come to Him.

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

You see Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ always keeps His promises!

Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
Psa 105:42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.

We should be able to see that as we study the Old Testament Book of Exodus, we get to learn more about the truth of our Savior.

We must have “faith” in the promises of God, and we must not tempt Him with our complaining and our foolish pride.

*Exo 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

That word Massah means temptation.
That word Meribah means to quarrel and dispute.

We must never ask if the Lord is among us, after He promised to never leave us and to never forsake us!

Life brings its good things and its dreadful things, but no matter what we are going through, we can believe that the Lord is always with those who love Him!

We should understand that those who are empty of the Holy Spirit still have a desperate need to quench their thirst, but they simply do not know where they can satisfy that thirst, unless we tell them about “the Rock” (the Lord Jesus), the only source of “Living Water”.

Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isa 12:4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

This is the truth we have for those who are lost!

They must drink of that “Living Water”, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Another thing we must understand is that when we are disobedient and tempt the Lord, then we will fall under Divine Judgment.

When we are tested by the Lord, we must cling to our “faith” and believe in His promises.

We should understand without “tests” we will never have a “testimony”!

The Israelites were murmuring.
They were ready to stone to death God’s servant Moses.
They were filled with unbelief, lacking faith, saying to Moses, “is the Lord with us or not”.

Here we see a people who were always looking for the arm of God “without faith”, rather than seeking the face of God.

They were a foolish people at this time, forgetting they were free and released for their bondage of slavery.

Another thing we should realize is, that what the Holy Spirit recorded in the Book of Numbers Chapter 20 is far different from what we have here in this Chapter of Exodus.

*Exo 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Water was a great commodity in the wilderness then, and it still is in this area.

We also see that the Devil always has his spies watching the children of God.

Amalek decided it would be easy pickings to take this water away from Israel.

The meaning of Amalek is “warlike” because they lusted for war with anyone, they thought they could defeat.

It is our lust and our covetousness that causes us the most problems!

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Remember Esau who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright to Jacob.

Amalek were cousins to Esau.

Amalek had no fear of Jehovah with fear meaning respect.

Deu 25:17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
Deu 25:18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.

Amalek was another of those group of terrorists who attack the feeblest and women and children or hide behind them.

Amalek came to fight with Israel because Amalek knew Israel had never been in war and were not equipped for war.

The Devil delights in robbing the joy of God’s people.

God said to Israel that Amalek was to be destroyed.

Deu 25:17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
Deu 25:18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Deu 25:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.

This goes against most modern day thinking of people who think they can negotiate with terrorist, and this is never true.

We next see the great General Joshua and this same Joshua will be seen to be a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Exo 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Exo 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Moses chose a General to lead the new army of Israel.

There can be little doubt that at every opportunity Israel had been preparing an army.

Moses had been trained in military tactics while he grew up as an Egyptian.

At that time, Egypt had the mightiest army in the world.

We can believe that Moses had sought out a man to lead this army and what better man than Joshua which meant (savior or whose help is Jehovah).

In Hebrew Joshua would be Jeshua.
In Greek Joshua would be Jesus.

While Joshua was in the battle, Moses would take the rod of God and seek to intercede for the army of Israel.

It was not just Joshua that needed to be encouraged.

When the army of Israel could see the “rod of God” raised up into the air they knew there was a God because they had seen Moses raise this rod many times and they had seen the results.

This is the same rod that Moses lifted up and the Red Sea was opened to allow them to escape from Pharaoh’s army.

They knew that Moses was crying out to the Lord.

No matter what blocks our path we need to take it to the Lord!

As Christians freed from the bondage of Satan, he will still attempt to block our path from serving the Lord.

Amalek in typology is a type of our own flesh that we battle with every day.

Our flesh in reality is our greatest enemy.

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

In reality those who pray for us are our greatest friends!

2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Remember Job:

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Our greatest intercessor is the Lord Jesus Christ who constantly prays for us.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Joshua went to war and Moses went high on the mountain so he could be seen and at 80 years old Moses took two men with him, Aaron and a man named Hur.

Tradition says that this Hur was the husband of Miriam which does make sense, but this could be another Hur.

*Exo 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Exo 17:12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Exo 17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Moses prayed while the battle was taking place.

We should pray before the enemy attacks because the enemy Satan is just waiting for some sign of weakness.

We must pray while we are under attack because Satan will always be watching the children of God.

The attack may be temptation, our wicked thoughts.
The attack may be an urge to steal from someone.
The attack may be the compulsion to lie to someone.

Whatever the attack, the first thing we must do is to pray.

The attack may actually be war or the threat of bodily harm or the threat of death.

These things are under direct control of the Lord, so we need to pray immediately, and we must prevail.

The Holy Spirit keenly makes us aware of the power of prayer!

As long as the hands of Moses were reaching for God, Israel prevailed.

When his hands dropped Amalek prevailed.

Aaron and Hur with him saw to it that the hands of Moses would not fall.

A great lesson for us all.

Psa 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

We are in the last days according to the Bible, we have been since the Lord Jesus came to pay our sin debt.

The enemies we face are not much stronger, but they are more determined.

We have seen this in our last election.

These enemies are more dangerous than they ever have been.

It is not time to quit on God, and it is certainly not time to get slack in our prayer life.

Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The children of Israel won this first battle, but in fact the victory was the Lord’s, and this is the way we need to see all our battles in life.

The Lord will never do things we have in our own power to do!

Alone we are no match for Satan, but if we stand on the Word of God and pray, we will see the awesome power of God!

Judgment was pronounced on Amalek and one day there will be no Amalek in this world and surely none in Heaven.

In verse thirteen we see the phrase “with the edge of the sword”.

The “sword” here points us to the Word of God.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We need the Word of God to accompany our prayers.

Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

It is the Word of God that teaches us about sin.
It is the Word of God that teaches us about a Savior and our Deliverer.
It is the Word of God that the Holy Spirit uses when we do not know what to pray.
It is the Word of God that teaches us how to pray!

Just as “judgment” was pronounced upon Amalek, “judgment” has been pronounced upon our own flesh.

There is nothing good about our flesh and our flesh cannot defeat us if we walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
Isa 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
***Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Our strength is in the Lord!

When the Lord makes us free, we are free indeed!

Joh_8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Amen

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