“Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Suf. They went out into the Shur Desert; but after traveling three days in the desert, they had found no water.”-Exodus 15:22
We are now transitioning from Israel’s deliverance to their time in the wilderness.
There is an interesting point about verse 22 where it says “Moses ‘led’ Israel onward from the Sea of Suf”.
Apparently, the original nuance of this word is that Moses “caused” the Israelites to leave.
In other words, he had to forcibly urge them to pick up and get moving.
The Hebrew sages generally agree that what was happening is that the Hebrews were going hog wild stripping the dead Egyptian soldiers of their valuables and were in no hurry to get moving in light of their new found treasure.
I sense an interesting spiritual lesson here.
There is nothing more potent than wealth to stop us in our tracks while we are on the journey the Lord has set out for us.
Of course, it’s okay to enjoy the creature comforts and good things the Lord provides for us.
But they are only the means to help us out on our journey, NOT the ends.
Now there are three basic themes about the wilderness narrative that I want you to pay close attention to as we move forward because they are directly applicable to our walk with the Lord AFTER we have been saved.
First, the Israelites are going to experience many challenges in dealing with very hostile neighbors.
I don’t know how many people I’ve met who’ve dropped out of the race to the Promised Land simply because they had assumed their life would instantly transform into a bed of roses after they came to the Lord.
Your salvation is just the beginning point and now its time to grow by learning to trust the Lord in the face of many challenges that are guaranteed to come your way.
Second, we will now begin to witness the development of an early form of government for Israel.
The lesson for us here is that God’s laws, precepts and teachings contained in the five books of Moses is the foundation and the essential blueprint we are to adhere to in order to live a holy life pleasing to God.
I can never say this enough but God gave Israel the Law AFTER he saved them.
The Law was never a means to achieve or keep one’s salvation.
It is a blueprint for holy living.
Third, the final main and unfortunate theme we will encounter in the wilderness narrative is the persistent grumbling of the people against God and Moses.
Obviously the biggest takeaway here is what NOT to do when life gets tough which it most definitely will.
Issues like pride, boredom, jealousy, impatience and so on will cause all kinds of rife and strife to rise up in the camp of Israel.
Finally, you should know that many details that sometimes seem to be missing in the Book of Exodus, those blanks are actually filled in by the Book of Numbers.
Numbers and Exodus are actually very closely connected with each other.
So keep in mind that what we are witnessing in the book of Exodus is Israel going through an intense growth process from being a helpless infant to a redeemed but sometimes very rebellious problem child.