We are in the World Stream trudging through the desert with the Israelites. We are using The Living Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord God of Heaven, you rescue in the mightiest of ways. Each salvation you grant is a rescue. The drama of this rescue is marvelous. May we too remain enamored with your power to save and let that spur us [also] to not be a complainer. Let us keep our eye and mind on your wonderful deeds and provision for us. Amen.
15 – the song had to be overwhelming. 2Million singing immediately after being saved in the most fantastic way imaginable was over the top. We’ve seen a congregation burst into cheering after a baptism or salvation announcement or a miraculous breakthrough. But here is 2Million singing, exultant after 600,000 soldiers in pursuit are stopped right behind them. God is marvelous indeed. The next three days was spent walking in the wilderness and water was not to be found. It’s easy to ridicule them as forgetful whiners, but take it easy on’em. A few hours without water in the wilderness will make one frantic. A full day or two will make one delirious. There is a nation of them and it’s been three days now! The water is bitter and God needed them to drink it for there was a remedial element in the water that God needed them to ingest to heal the intestinal problem that over 80% of all Egyptiank residences had. If they were not in a panic of thirst they would have not drunk it at all. This set of incidences had them follow through with “taking their medicine”.
16 – The journey is in full and the Red Sea behind them is well out of sight. The manna begins and everyone has all that they need and the supply is going to last for 40 years. No one starved in the desert – not one. The food they had was good, nutritious, and sweet to eat. The Lord used this food issue to keep the Sabbath matter before them. On the sixth day each week, God sent double supply so they would not be sent out to gather on the seventh. They were to keep and remember the Sabbath. Those who hoarded, thinking God might stop feeding them, had rot and odor in their places. They wanted more food; meat, so God sent quail. He sent quail here and again about a year later. We’ll read that in the coming chapter later in Exodus. God did not send manna on the seventh day. The people finally caught on to this pattern.
17 – The two great events of this chapter are water coming from the rock and the initial battle against Amalek. The water situation is not a perplexing matter to the locals even today. The porous rocks of this area become infused with water during the infrequent flashfloods. Shepherds then tap on rocks and are able to determine whether there is water inside it. Moses had done this during his shepherding years here [Exodus 2]. It must have been simpler for Moses to do this for bleating sheep than for quizzical and cantankerous people. The army of Amalek shows up and this calls the nation of Israel to battle. The progress toward victory happens when Moses held up his staff and Aaron and Hur supported him. And the opposite happened when Moses did not uphold his staff. This is symbolic for us today that we need to be upholding our leaders in His Kingdom that God has brought forth. Prayer and support is needed in this area. Complaining is not!
18 – It was a rich and warm reunion when Moses met up with Jethro his father-in-law. They brought his wife and two sons to him as well. Word of the Exodus and the miracles in Egypt had reached Jethro (as it did everyone else for hundreds of miles). Soon Jethro noticed Moses expending entires days – day after day – settling disputes like a judge before the people. Moses felt it was his duty to do so. Jethro knew better and could see that it was taking Moses to exhaustion. Jethro advised him to set up a delegation of assistants to handle these judgments and disputes. This spread the work to thousands of others who were honest, willing and able. This landmark chapter has affected the discipline of administration and management the world over.