22. Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.
23. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is Why The Place Is Called Marah).
24. So the people grumbled against Moses saying "what are we to drink"?
25. Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.
26. He said "if you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you."
27. Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
The children of Israel had been freed from the Pharaohs enslavement and found themselves in a desert wondering around. I can image that the heat of the desert brought about great thirst among the people and the scripture says in verse 22 that they went three days without any water. Finally they came upon some water at Marah but the water was not drinkable. Verse 23 says this water was bitter tasting. The freed Israelites were doing just like people do today when things don’t go their way. They were complaining.
Verse 24 says that the people grumbled against Moses asking what were they going to drink. Now Moses was a man who trusted God full heartedly. If God spoke Moses did not deny God but obey God. The Israelites being in that desert at that point in time was an act of Moses’ obedience to God. Moses cried out to the lord and was shown a piece of wood. This piece of wood was thrown into the water and the water became sweet. The water became good for drinking. The Lord at that point made a decree or a law with Moses and the children of Israel saying if you will follow me.
If you will obey my commandments
If you will worship and serve me I will be your God and protect you from the faith placed upon the pharaoh and his army.
Next they came to a place called Elim where they found plenty of drinking water and palm trees to keep them cool. God was already providing for them even when they failed to recognize that God was doing so. Church just because you don’t think or don’t see how God is blessing you does not mean that God is not in the mist of your life providing for you. God said he would never leave nor forsake you.
We are talking today about obeying God. I want you to know that obedience is something we all need to work harder at obtaining. Obedience is essential to a successful relationship with the Lord. We cannot draw closer to God without obeying him. Many people have learned a lot about God the father, Son and Holy Spirit through personal study, group study and even through research.
Matthew 7:21 says
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Obedience is to hear God’s word and to act accordingly. The word translated "obey" in the Old Testament means "to hear." One word means to hear or to listen in a state of submission. We have got to obey God! In the New Testament words often translated "OBEY" means to "TRUST." A person’s obedient response to God’s word is a response of trust. It is a response of faith. To really hear God’s word is to obey God’s word
Exodus 19:5 says
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"
Jeremiah 7:23 says
"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
The bible over in Psalms 81:11 views disobedience as a failure to hear and do God word. Israel’s story was one of a nation who failed to hear or listen to God.
Jeremiah 7:13 says
"And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;"
Hosea 9:17 says
"My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations."
And in Matthew 11:15 Jesus warns "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
How Does Obedience Affect One’s Spiritual Life?
1 Samuel 15:22 and John 4:23-
Romans 1:5 and 10:16-
John 14:23; 1 John 2:17; Revelation 22:14 lets us know that obedience secures God’s blessings.
John 7:17 informs us that spiritual insights are gained through obedience.
Romans 12:12 says obedience springs from gratitude for the grace we receive.
According to Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16 Christians obey God as an expression of their spiritual freedom.
Jesus taught that our love for God motivates us to obey him.
In my conclusion
True obedience means imitating God in holiness. True obedience means imitating God in humility and in love. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death. Even the death of the cross.