Sermon: Walking by Faith in the Wilderness - Exodus 15-17

As we observe the leadership of the Lord and His working in the lives of Israel, and as we observe the response of the Children of Israel, there are five things I want us to consider, specifically as they relate to our walk as Christians.

Sermon series: Knowing God

  1. Walking by Faith in the Wilderness
  2. Knowing God Loves Me
  3. Is Being Good Enough?
  4. The Character of the Savior
  5. It's a Wonderful Life

As we observe the leadership of the Lord and His working in the lives of Israel, and as we observe the response of the Children of Israel, there are five things I want us to consider, specifically as they relate to our walk as Christians.

I. God calls us to walk by faith

II. God’s direction always has purpose

In the midst of trials which seem meaningless to us at the time, God has a purpose.

III. God provides for us along the way

He provides in accordance to what we need, not necessarily according to what we want.

He provides as we need – He wants us to trust Him for our Daily Bread – This builds faith.

He provides in unique and often miraculous ways

IV. God calls us to gratitude

In all their doings, the most glaring sin of the Israelites was the sin of ingratitude. Their attitude was one of ungratefulness and thanklessness. Instead of continuing to praise God for His deliverance from Egypt, instead of worshiping Him and acknowledging His continued presence with them, all they could do was murmur and complain that He had not done enough. Complaining is the opposite of gratitude. The very fact that you are complaining says you don’t appreciate what you’ve been given, that you think you deserve better.

When we gripe rather than give thanks, when we protest rather than praise, we are telling the Lord several things:

  • That we deserve better than He has given us – This is the sin of pride – we think we are better than the station to which He has assigned us.
  • That He does not know what we really need – that we know better – This is arrogance – we think we are more aware of our own needs than the One who created us.
  • That He does not really love us, or He would have given us what we wanted – This is immaturity. Like children we whine and complain that we didn’t get what we wanted.

Finally we tell Him that are unappreciative, are not mindful of all that He has done for us in the past and that nothing done for us in the past matters- only what we want now: This is forgetfulness

V. God calls us to obedience

At the end of the day obedience is nothing more than faith in action. It is saying, “God I trust you enough to do what you say.”

For the Israelites, obedience was the ultimate test of faith. God did not ask them to reason with Him. He did not tell them that He would rationalize His directions with them, He did not invite them to dialogue or to a question and answer time. He simply called them to obey. To go where He said go, to do what He said do and to trust Him to be there before them and meet their needs.

  • We are called to walk by faith, not by sight
  • We follow a God of purpose, we may not always be able to see His purpose, but it is ever there.
  • Ours is a God who promises to provide, and He has never once failed us.
  • His provision calls us to gratitude.

Let me suggest three ways we can live lives of gratitude:

  1. Trust God to do His best for you – He is good and He loves you – trust Him to give you what is best for you.
  2. Praise God for all He has given you – Count your blessings instead of your burdens. Look at all He has done and give Him thanks.
  3. Respond to what God has done for you – look for a tangible way to express your gratitude to God. One way is through obedience in the area of financial stewardship. If you are not tithing, if you’re not giving back at least ten percent of what God has given you, how can you say you are grateful to God for what He has done for you? Gratitude necessitates obedience, and that’s the final think I want you to see in our text today.

He calls us to obedience. He is God we are not.

Dr. Calvin Wittman is pastor of Applewood Baptist Church, Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He serves as a trustee at Criswell College, and regularly contributes to Open Windows, a monthly LifeWay devotional publication.