January 22, 2006

Read Exodus 14

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. But, 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 unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? (Exodus 14:9-11). When the Israelites cried out unto the LORD, it was not in faith but in fear, as well as in hostility and criticism against Moses.

The Israelites had seen the mighty miracles in Egypt that had caused Pharaoh to set them free; yet, they now chose not to trust God and His ability to provide for them again. 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 the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots . . . and all the host of Pharaoh (14:27-28).

Although God faithfully met that need miraculously, just three days later He led the Israelites to Marah, where they could not drink the bitter water And the people murmured (complained) against Moses (15:24). So the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast 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 unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in . . . Egypt . . . for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD unto Moses . . . I will rain bread from heaven . . . that I may prove (test) them, whether they will walk in My Law, or no. . . . And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna. . . they gathered it every morning (16:2-4,15,31,21).

Let us learn from the grumbling Israelites that regardless of circumstances we must trust the wisdom and love of God in all life's difficulties. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Christ Revealed:

Through the bread (manna) from heaven (Exodus 16:4,15). Jesus said: I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven (John 6:51; also 6:32-48).

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Melissa Bean (IL), Rep. Steve Chabot (OH), Rep. Anne Northup (KY), and Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ) · Country: Fiji (813,000) in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: English and Fijian · Religious freedom · 41% Hindu; 40% Protestant; 9% Roman Catholic; 8% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Psalm 107:1,21).

Optional Reading: Matthew 21

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:15