January 22

Read Exodus 14 -- 16

In Today's Reading:

Crossing the Red Sea; song of Moses; the waters of Marah; murmurings; manna and quail

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. The Egyptians pursued after them . . . and overtook them. . . the children of Israel . . . were sore (very) 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 14:9-11). When the Israelites cried out to the LORD, it was not in faith, but in fear, hostility, and criticism toward Moses, God's appointed leader.

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 (deliverance) of the LORD (14:13). In a spectacular display of His power, the LORD overthrew (defeated) the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh (14:27-28).

Although God miraculously met their need, just three days later He led the Israelites to Marah, where they could not drink the bitter water. Once again, the people murmured (complained) against Moses (15:24), exposing their lack of faith. The LORD revealed to Moses a tree, which when he had cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet (15:25).

The children of Israel's lack of trust in God was again evident when their food supply was exhausted. The whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And . . . said to them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in . . . Egypt . . . for you have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD to Moses . . . I will rain bread from heaven . . . that I may prove (test) them, whether they will walk in My Law, or not. . . . And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna. . . they gathered it every morning (16:2-4,15,31,21).

Jesus declared Himself to be the True Bread. . . . Who came down from heaven, and gives life to the world. . . . I am the Bread of Life (John 6:32-35).

Word Studies:

14:8 high hand = triumphantly; 14:17 get me honour 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.

Christ Revealed:

Through the bread (manna) from heaven (Exodus 16:15). Jesus said: I am the Living Bread Who came down from heaven (John 6:51; also 6:32-48).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Steve Chabot (OH), Rep. Anne Northrup (KY), and Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ) · Country: Macedonia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Macedonian and Albanian · strongly Orthodox country · 60% Macedonian/Albanian/Bulgarian Orthodox; 30% Muslim; 2% Roman Catholic; .2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Psalm 51:15).

Optional Reading: Matthew 22

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:5