” The Lord made a decree and a law for them and there he tested them. ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians for I am the Lord who heals you.'” Exodus 15:26
The children of Israel had experienced GREAT Victory in Chapter 15 of Exodus.
What was it?
THE RED SEA had parted.. The Israelites began to sing with Moses praises to the God who delivers -” The Lord Will reign forever and ever”… ” Your right hand ,O Lord shattered the enemy… Who is like YOU– Majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”…Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and the rider he has hurled into the sea.. Exodus 15: 6b,18, 21
For 21 verses they gave honor and worship to the God who does Reign in all things. There was dancing with tambourines and a recounting of what God did when he saved them from their enemies.
They were remembering their God…
THIS was a MIGHTY VICTORY– dramatic, conclusive, supernatural.
Mighty Victory calls for Encompassing Praise… BUT following spiritual triumph ALWAYS…. is VULNERABILITY.
The enemy of the soul searched for a way to turn enCOURAGEment into disCOURAGEment.
As you can see COURAGE is a part of both words.
When they begin to look at Monday morning life in all its uneven challenges, their God focus changed.
Traveling from the Red Sea encounter– Moses led them through the Desert of Shur 3 days without water. When they came to Marah( which means Bitter), the water was bitter, undrinkable..
Grumbling dissatifaction claimed their hearts once again and they complained to Moses, ” What are we to drink?”
The “Intervention of the God of the Impossible” was forgotten in the moment of expedient desire.
Why did they not stop and pray for water?
Why did they not think about God’s recent manifestation of power?
Why did they depend on Moses alone?
No wondered they wondered 40 years…. and yet God always provided…in spite of their adolescent fickle faith.
Moses did know what to do and he did it– He “cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.”v.25
Be SURE you will find yourself in Shur after great break through.
Because you cannot camp out there. The air is too rich.
Basking in any victory too long stokes ego and self- adulation.
God had directed Moses to take them to the desert and into Marah. He knew the water would be bitter and they would have to turn their focus back to their MAKER for provision.
He knew Moses would come to Him with the need and HE ANSWERED MOSES!
How many times are we guilty of complaining to every one else when the God of the Universe is waiting and watching to see if we will REMEMBER HIM.
In the desert of Shur when they arrived at Marah, if they had gathered in prayer with their petition accompanied by thanksgiving and gratitude praising the God who delivers– who has never failed them– perhaps their 40 year sojourn could have been shortened …for the character of ” Life with God “requires worship on every day in any situation.– forever! In fact the scripture tells us he was ” testing them.”
He still does for we too forget.
How His heart must yearn for his children today to seek Him.
Most of the of the time it is through scripture that we hear His voice speaking to us–guiding us down the road..
Does our daily dependency rest upon Him?
Does He still enter calamity and deliver?
Is He the Consummate Provider?
HE was for Moses.
He will be for you and me.
The obedience of one Godly man changed the day…continued to do so day after day.
It still does.
Look what happened:
If they had sat down in the desert and comped there,discontented and and disappointed in God– they would NEVER have experienced the next miracle– the plenty God had planned ahead for them down the road to ELIM where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees.
Moses kept them moving through the desert.
Moses obeyed God and the water became sweet.
Moses’ prayer reached heaven.
God delivered… again.
We must live in a relationship to God steeped with expectancy found through His Word and in His presence daily.
When we do– we will know His provision, grace and goodness. Then our hearts will live with a conscious ongoing praise unto the ONE who hears and provides. Psalm 4:3
This chapter begins with praise , descends into a pit and arrives at the promises of God with the benefit of an oasis of MORE ahead to be enjoyed.
Discontent could have kept them in Shur but Moses moved them on to Elim.
The Red Sea, Shur, Marah and Elim are places within our journey and God is present in all of them.
What will we do after the next victory in our lives?
How will we live when we become anxious or fearful?
Can we make it to the destination of ABUNDANCE known as ” MORE WITH GOD?”
DisCOURAGEment and enCOURAGEment are real.
Both require courage : courage to be and courage to move on.
As the old hymn reminds us, “Trust and obey for there ‘s no other way to be happy Jesus than to trust and obey.”
Move on down the road to Elim where Gods’ blessing for obedience awaits.
Along the journey with you,