Exodus 17:1-7. Meribah, the place where Moses struck a rock with his rod and water came forth to satisfy the needs of the Israelites. Also in Numbers 20 the same thing happened and that is when Moses did not do right, he should not have struck the rock, he was told by God to speak to the rock and this was the incident that caused him to be banned from entering the promised land, Canaan.

So what does this mean to us? Maybe you’re in a place where things seem hopeless. You’re looking for answers and none seem to be evident. What is the place of your testing? Is 2020 a test of our faith? Of our willingness to adopt the mind of Christ in difficult circumstances? And maybe having nothing to do with the virus.

What do we learn in moments like this? What should we know about God when we arrive at our own Meribah?

1. God is greater than our circumstances. He supplies all of our needs. In Phil. 4:19 Paul says he not only does this, He does it richly. 1 Cor. 10 applies as well. Jesus supplies the water to quench all of our spiritual thirst.

2. God will act in His time and encourages our endurance when tested. We want an answer right now, today, this week or maybe next month. God has His own plan. He acts when it is the right and wise time to do so. It is not our business to question His timing. James says count it all joy when you encounter various trials. That is not our natural reaction.

3. God’s restoration and vindication of the righteous is assured. It all ultimately ends well for those who stay the course - story after story in the Bible illustrates this. Look at the parable of the wheat and tares in Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43. We need to focus on being the wheat, that the seed God provides is working in our life.

Conclusion: We need to leave Meribah. We should cry out in trust rather than complain when we find ourself in a place of testing. Look at:

Psalm 107:4-9

Psalm 46:10-11

God is our refuge and strength. Be still and know that I am God, He says to us. We will have no lack if we lean on God, abide in Him, be calm knowing He is in charge and are knit together with others with similar attitudes.

Plenteous provision promised:

The plea of the Lord, Psalm 81. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it up, verse 10. I would feed you with the finest of wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you, verse 16.

Acts 3:19, only in His presence is refreshing.

Luke 2:52 - “Jesus Increased in wisdom and in stature with God and man.” This should be our goal as well. This is about discernment.

Hebrews 5:14 - but solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Life experience helps us make the right decisions, to use our best judgment . Constant practice, training. We need to be trained in the basics so that when situations arise we know immediately what the right course of action is. So how do we develop judgment? With our children, we teach them as they grow, correcting mistakes and recognizing and commending their good decisions. It’s about not forgetting the intricacies. That requires discretion, practice and consistently making the right decisions. We need to realize our minds can become warped. We can actually think that something evil is something good. The world considers it unloving to tell someone what they are doing is wrong. And, yes, we need to be careful how we say things but, nonetheless, we need to point out evil when we see it. The point of constant practice is to lead to mastery. It is not to just stay how we are. Repetition leads to mastery. In life, we will face great complexities. Sometimes there are multiple paths to take. That is where discernment comes in. Sometimes there may be more than one good answer but there is always a best way. Martha was doing a good thing in serving Jesus and objected that Mary wasn't helping. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the best path, listening to Jesus was the best decision, even though what Martha chose was also a good thing. What is it in life that provides this constant practice? That gives us the opportunities to envelop our powers of discernment? Part of it is to meet together weekly and study the Bible together. Yes, baptism is important but that’s just the beginning. What it means to live the life of a Christian is the weightier issue. As we meet together and study together we learn more about God. Meeting together regularly is vitally important and yes, it is repetitious and that is the point. It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me, Gal 2:20. That is the goal, that is the point, that happens through constant training, through repetition. But there have to be more opportunities than just the 3 times a week we are all together. There needs to be daily training, daily practice. So we need to ask ourselves - what constant practice is training my powers of discernment? Being here today is one of those things. But what other things am I doing in my life? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you, Jesus said. We have to have a plan. The most important thing in our life is to be able to discern the difference between good and evil.

There are all sorts of problems that arise because of the human demands by the people for a king. The reality is God’s people already had everything they needed to thrive. They had the king they needed. The Lord’s hand was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

The story has not changed. 2 Pet 1 tells us we have all the things we need. What we need is what we already have. Now there are things we want but what we need is already with us. God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. If we’re turning somewhere else, we’re doing exactly what Israel did.

We need to see in this story the spiral of ungodliness, the spiral of sin. Samuel actually starts this downward spiral by appointing his sons as judges over the land and they are evil. This is just like Eli’s sons. So they want to set up something else, a king. Samuel refused to see the sins in his own sons, just like Eli. Samuel starts this downward spiral by not taking care of his home. Samuel is hard on the people, not so hard on himself. An example of poor leadership. So, as parents, are we willing to do the same thing, ignore the faults and sins of our children? We need to take care of things at home, take care as parents to ensure this does not happen in our home.

If you trust in princes, get used to disappointment. They turned from God and trusted in men. A new boss, a new spouse, whatever relationship you can think of, the answer to problems or turmoil is not in the new person, the answer is found in God.

The Israelites wanted to be like the world.

God is the one who gives hope. He should be our single priority in life - not A priority - THE priority. Let’s be about doing what God wants us to do.

Be warned - God often gives people what they want. Romans 1 , God gave them over to a depraved heart. If we’re bound and determined to do the wrong thing, God will let us. See how that works out for you.

Choose wisely who you exalt and who you hold up.


Welcome and thank you for visiting. We hope you can come and be with us as we give praise and honor to the Father above and His Son as we assemble as Christ's church in the Tomball and Magnolia area.

Decker Prairie church of Christ

25903 Hardin Store Rd

Magnolia, TX 77354

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T: 281.259.2797


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