January 22

Exodus 14 -- 16

Freed from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land. They had traveled only a short distance when they saw all the chariots of Pharaoh's army rushing toward them in a desperate effort to recover his slaves and the Egyptians . . . overtook them. . . . The children of Israel . . . were sore (greatly) afraid: and . . . cried out to the Lord. And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? (Exodus 14:7-11). When the Israelites cried out to the Lord, it was not in faith, but in fear, hostility, and criticism toward Moses, and, therefore, toward the Lord.
The Israelites had seen the miracles in Egypt that had set them free; yet, they chose not to trust God and His ability to provide for them. Although Moses could not see how the Lord would save them, he confidently declared: Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord (14:13). In a spectacular display of His power, the Lord overthrew the Egyptians. . . . the waters returned, and covered . . . all the host of Pharaoh (14:27-28).
Although God met that need, just three days later He led the Israelites to Marah, where they discovered they could not drink the bitter water. And the people murmured (complained angrily) against Moses (15:24). The Lord showed Moses a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet (15:25). Many centuries later, Jesus declared that true satisfaction was to be found in Him alone, when, at the Feast of Tabernacles, He proclaimed: Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14).
The children of Israel's lack of trust in God was again evident when their food supply was exhausted. The children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron . . . and . . . said to them, Would to God we had died . . . in the land of Egypt . . . you have brought us here in this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the Lord to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from Heaven. . . . that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My Law or not. . . . When the children of Israel saw it, they said . . . It is manna. . . . And they gathered it every morning (16:2-4,15,21). This experience should have taught the Israelites to look expectantly to God for their daily needs.
Jesus taught us to daily recognize our dependence on Him for every need by praying: Give us this day our daily bread -- that is, the needs for today (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3). While things were going well, it appeared that Moses and the people had the same faith. But, the same trial that revealed the Israelites' unbelief and complaint revealed Moses' faith and trust in God.
Manna is a picture of Christ as the Living Bread who came down from Heaven to provide all of our spiritual needs. Like the Israelites in the desert, the skeptical religious leaders said to Jesus: Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from Heaven (John 6:31). Jesus then declared Himself as The True Bread. . . . Which came down from Heaven, and gives life. . . . I am the Bread of Life (John 6:32-35).
Word Studies:
14:8 high hand = triumphantly; 14:17 get me honor upon = assert my authority; 14:27 to his strength = to its normal depth; 15:14 Palestina = Philistia, land of the Philistines; 15:23 Marah = bitterness; 16:4 prove = test; 16:18 mete = measure.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Rep. Anne Meagher Northrup (KY) and Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ) · BPM Staff: Karen Hawkins · Pray for Hebrew Christian Fellowship · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Mary Kay Wagner · Country: South Africa (40 million) on the southern tip of the African continent · Major languages: Afrikaans and English · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 20% animism, magic, and ancestor worship; 10% Roman Catholic; 3% Asian religions · Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers express gratitude to God for His wonderful works (Psalms 9:1).
Optional Reading:
Matthew 22

Memory Verse for the Week:
Psalms 12:6