Out of Egypt
“Count your blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done” (Johnson Oatman Jr., 1856–1922).
Read Exodus 15:19–27
19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.”
The Waters of Marah and Elim
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 fit to drink.
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to 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 on 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRemember something God did for you yesterday. Now choose to praise him in advance for what he will do today.
How like the Israelites are you? It’s only three days since God parted the Red Sea, and they are grumbling again. With Miriam’s song still ringing in their ears, they start to question whether their need for water will be met.
There are two watering places here. At Marah there is bitter water, but it is the place where God’s miraculous power makes the water fit to drink. At Marah their trust in God is tested. And at Marah they are given a promise.
In contrast, Elim is an easy place with plenty of springs and palm trees for desert shade, reminiscent of Egypt and its plentiful supply of water.
Where would you prefer to be? In the place where God’s miracles are meeting your needs?
Where God rewards your obedience? Where he makes you whole? The situation where you
find yourself might not seem to be a pleasant Elim oasis, but ask God for fresh eyes to see as he sees and the grace to learn the more difficult lessons he might have for you in life’s tough places.
Take time today to think about what you say. How many of your words are complaining words and how many are praising words?
Loving Giver, I praise You for remembering me. Teach me to praise You in the good and the bad and to find You in every circumstance.
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