Title: Part 5
Date: July 23-24, 2016
Speaker: Jason McBride
What do you do when you are following God and you find yourself in the desert?
The LORD said, I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey... Exodus 3:7-8
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10
When You Are In The Desert
· Life Feels Disorienting
· Disillusioned with God
· Long to be Anywhere but Here
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:4-6
Desert is Fertile Soil for
· Turning from God
All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:2-4
Moses in the Desert – Melt Down
He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” Numbers 11:11-15
Hard Questions in the Desert
· What will you do with a God you do not understand?
· Will you follow a God that does not live up to your expectations?
· Israelites Complained ABOUT God
· Moses Complained TO God
The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. Numbers 11:16-17
When We are in the Desert
· We need to trust in God’s presence
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15-16
· We need to learn to cry out to God
· We need to look to the Cross
· Have you ever had to eat the same food, over-and-over again, for an extended period of time? What was it like?
· Read Numbers 11:4-17
· Jason mentioned that in the desert life feels disorienting and we may become disillusioned with God. Have you ever found yourself in a place like that, a place you didn’t expect? What was it like for you?
· What did the Israelites complain about? (v. 4-6)
· How did Moses handle the complaint of the people? (v. 11-15)
· When you are tempted to complain, are you more likely to complain about God or complain to God?
· How did God respond to Moses’ prayer? (v. 16-17)
· How have you seen God provide for you during a desert experience?
· Read Exodus 33:15-16.
· Moses trusted in God’s presence. Is there anything that helps you to trust in God’s presence, even when you don’t see it or feel it?
· What suggestions would you have for someone in pain on how to honestly cry out to God?
· When in the desert, how can the Cross of Jesus and what Jesus did be a comfort?
· What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?
· What will help you remember it?
· Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?