Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Mt Sinai (Law) and  Mt Zion (Grace)
Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Into the Wilderness

So how large was the number of Hebrews? Did they leave any evidence of their wilderness journey?

I will answer these questions in this post.

In the wilderness of Sinai, God had Moses to number the people of war. From 20 years old and upward that were able to fight there were 603,550 men of war. This did not include parents, younger siblings, or wives. It would be a conservative estimate that there were 2 to 3 million, Numbers 1.

The great miracles of the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea and destruction of Egypt's army were fascinating. Some we take for granted, for example all of Israel was healed that Passover night, there was not a feeble one among them, Psalms 105:37.
Also their clothes and shoes did not wear out for 40 years. God fed them and watered them in a desolate land.

When the people looked back across the sea they saw the last of the land of Egypt (present day Nuweiba which means were Noah parted the waters)

Now they went into the Wilderness of Shur to the East for 3 days and found bitter water and called the place Marah. The people murmured and Moses cried to the Lord and He showed him a tree that when put in the waters made them sweet (a type of the cross of Christ). God told them if they would listen to Him and do what is right, He would heal them and allow none of the diseases that came on the Egyptians (also a type of the healing that would come through Christ).

From here they went South to the wells at Elim, which the Bible says had 12 wells and 40 palm trees, Exodus 15. The mountains come next to the Sea so they probably went close to the route in this picture.

As you can see the wells are still there, but a lot more palm trees that grow clear down to the Sea (Aqaba). They camped here and along the canyon.

Israel stayed here for a while where there was good fresh water. They went up the canyon to the East to the Wilderness of Sin which is in the area of Horeb. They camped here and were hungry and complaining, for they were running out of water too. It was 2 1/2 months since they left Egypt.

Here is where God sent them quails to eat, and bread from heaven. When they saw it they called it manna which means, "what is this?", for they did not know what it was. It looked like balls of frost on the ground and tasted like wafers made with honey. They ate this manna until they made it to the promised land for 40 years, Exodus 16. This manna is also a type of Jesus Christ the true bread from Heaven, John 6.

Here in this desolate country, God fed his people every day except the Sabbath, but on Friday there was a double portion which you could gather and save. Any other day it would spoil. But, they needed water. So God told Moses to smite the Rock of Horeb and it would bring water out for the multitude.

This Rock was representative of Jesus who would give us living water after He was smitten. Moses was angry and hit the rock twice and because of this disobedience, he did not get to go into the promised land, Exodus 17, Numbers 20.

The rock split and spewed out water that ran into the valley and made a lake for the people to drink for some time.

The worn rocks where the water flowed.

Down into the valley to water all the people.

This might be what the lake that was formed looked like.

Other views of the Rock of Horeb and the valley of Rephidim, Exodus 17.

Besides this monolith of record, there are still campsites showing the rocks that the people used around their tents.

Here also did Amalek attack Israel, but was defeated and made an enemy of God from generation to generation. Israel had the weapons that they had taken from the Egyptians and under the leadership of Joshua, but it was at the hand of God they won, for they were not ready for war. God sent Moses to the top of a mountain to look on the battle. As long as he had his staff held over his head, Joshua would win.

When Moses' arms got tired, and he lowered his staff, Joshua would loose. So Aaron and Hur held his hands up until Amalek was defeated.

This camp at Horeb is closer to Mt. Sinai which we will cover in the next blog.

To sum up: God has delivered His people from the bondage of Egypt. He healed them and gave them water as well as supernatural food. He led them with a column of fire by night for warmth and light and a column of smoke by day which gave them shade.

Their clothes and shoes did not wear. Virtually if they would listen and obey, God met all their needs. The cool thing is He still will.

All pictures found on Internet.

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