Survey of the Book of Exodus-2

Learning to Rejoice in the Desert of Temptation

Objectives: TLWBAT name at least three ways to rejoice while being tested.

Memory verse: James 1: 2-3--"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience"

We say it--and it's good to quote scripture, don't ever stop! but are we joyful when we are tempted and tested? We have a surety, a guarantee--I Corinthians 10: 13--"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

Map Study (reverse side): What should have been a two week journey turned into forty years. Hebrews 3: 19 summarizes it well: "And we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief."

What was the Israelite reaction to being in the desert of temptation? We want to go back to Egypt!

What was slavery like? Like having no will of your own . . . you didn't own any property . . . couldn't choose what you wanted to do with your time . . . who your friends would be . . . what your dreams would be . . . How long you would get to be with family. Slavery is a miserable existence. This is why the children of Israel cried out to God (Exodus 2: 23) and why God answered them.

And after ten plagues, when they were leaving Egypt, and the army began to pursue, what did they say? Exodus 14: 10-12. "Take us back to Egypt . . . to slavery, misery, torture, murder." And after the miracle at the Red (maybe Reed) Sea? Exodus 16: 1-4. "Take us out of the desert . . . " And after the manna from heaven? Exodus 17: 1-7. "Take us back to slavery!"

Okay, so Israel was young and inexperienced in the ways of the Lord. But . . .

Exodus 32: 1-6. "Take us back to the ways and idolatrous diversions of Egypt." After the giving of the law and the sanctification of the people as God's own people . . . see Numbers 13: 30-14: 35.

So the next generation went into Canaan and possessed it. The unbelieving generation died in the desert of temptation of snakebite and scorpions and warfare and disease and the sexual destroyer (Numbers 25).

But here's the baffling thing:

Isaiah 30: 1-5; Isaiah 31, whole chapter. This is around 680 B. C. Eight hundred years later, their distant ancestors are still wanting to return to Egypt!

From II Corinthians 6: 16-7: 1. Let us be a purified people! I Peter 2: 9-12.

What was Jesus' reaction to being in the desert of temptation? See Luke 4: 1-13.

Answer: He didn't particularly like it--see also Luke 22: 39-46--but He did it because it was His Father's will. Later it could be said of Jesus in Hebrews 4: 15 "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." If He had left the desert without going through what God had wanted him to go through, those words could not have been written.

What will be our reaction to be in the desert of temptation?

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