Life Groups // Winter 2024 // Week 2

Posted January 19, 2024 — Lincoln Berean

Testing in the Wilderness // Exodus 17:1-16

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Chapter 17 of Exodus recounts the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness, facing a lack of resources and a new enemy. This chapter underscores themes of faith in the midst of trials and God’s divine authority and provision. 

To think through the main ideas in the sermon and prepare for your discussion together, we invite you to look over all the questions on the following pages and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group. Due to preferences over a wide range of groups, we do not expect you will cover every question each week.

Warm Up (Suggested time: 30 min)

1) What is your greatest interest or passion in your life right now? 


2) What is one habit you would like to build in 2024? 

Getting Started

1) Open group discussion with prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items: 

a. For the Spirit of God to lead you in truth 

b. For the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in your lives 

c. For grace to hear and apply what the Spirit says to you  

2) Choose someone to read the passage aloud for the group.  

Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)

1) What is one thing that you took away from Pastor Ryan’s sermon this past weekend? 




2) Last week in Exodus 16, we saw an example of God testing the faithfulness of the Israelites. Now in chapter 17, we see them trying to test God in return (verse 2). Why is it improper for people to put God to the test? 




Think about a time when you felt as if your faith was being tested. How did you respond? How did you learn and grow through your test? 




3) In his letters, Paul visits some themes from our Exodus passage that can broaden our understanding. He writes in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. This stands as a reminder that God’s nature is resolute, and He will not fail to keep His promises under any circumstances. Here in Exodus, even as Israel fails to trust in God, He shows them favor and provides them with water to drink. Have you had a time in your life when God has provided for you, even when you were not putting your hope in Him? Share this with your group. 




Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 with your group. Paul creates a connection between the rock that produced water in Exodus, and Jesus, the rock upon which our faith is built. In the same way that the Israelites quarreled amongst themselves before relying on God, do you find it difficult to seek Jesus first when facing difficulty in your own life? Why or why not?




4) Back in chapter 4 of Exodus, Moses admits to some of his weaknesses, such as his slowness of speech, his authority to lead the people of Israel, and his reluctance to step out in faith. Now, when facing Amalek, it is his physical weakness that must be overcome in order for victory to be achieved (verses 11-12). How do you personally handle your own weaknesses in your life? 




Ultimately it was Moses’s companions that kept him steady until the battle was over. How can the people in your group best support you? 





Both when drawing water from the rock and guiding the battle with Amalek, Moses uses his staff as a conduit of God’s power. It is a symbol of God’s vested authority, and without Him, it would be just a piece of wood. Similarly, we are bearers of God’s image and His Spirit who lives within us (see Galatians 5:22-24, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, and Romans 8:9 for examples of how the Holy Spirit works in our lives). What are some ways that we can recognize and celebrate this unique role that God gives us in His world?






Personal Spiritual Exercises

Just like physical exercises help strengthen and stretch our bodies for healthy living, these spiritual exercises are meant to move us spiritually in ways that may be new so we might experience inner growth. Since God longs for us to experience Him with our whole selves—mind, body, spirit—we invite you along each week to strengthen your souls with suggestions and prompts. Next week in Life Group, take a few moments to share how the Lord may have used this exercise in your life.

Prayer Focus: This week, pray for the Lord to be the banner that identifies your life. Make the choice each day to let your relationship with Jesus set you apart from the world around you. 

Almighty God 

Be my banner and my victory 

In both peace and conflict, 

And transform me 

With your Word and your Spirit 

Day by day and hour by hour 

To make me more like you 

And show your truth to those around me. 

I pray this in the name of Jesus, 


Scripture Focus: In Colossians 1:13-20, Paul beautifully describes the process and purpose of the Lord’s creation. As you read it each day, take a moment to enjoy the world that God has made, and acknowledge his place in it, as well as your own.

Prayer (Suggested time: 20 min)

A significant part of “coming together” is being open and honest with our lives. Sitting in a group of people for prayer may be new or it may be familiar to you. If you would rather not pray aloud when it is your turn, feel free to pray silently and then say “Amen” aloud signaling the next person in the group to pray. Whether or not you choose to verbalize your prayer, everyone is a participant in sharing this time before God together. 


Take a few moments to prepare a prayer request. What did the message, working through the above questions or the discussion cause you to notice about your own relationship with Jesus? Would you be willing to share your prayer request with the group?