Sunday, July 28, 2013

Miracles in the Wilderness Series - Lesson 12 - An Order, a Regulation, and a Test

“So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them. And there He tested them,” (Exodus 15:25)

Helpless and angry, Israel berated Moses because Marah’s water was toxic. He cried to the Lord for help and at the Lord’s command, Moses tossed a Tree into the water and it became drinkable.

Tell me, once the Tree submerged, how did the Israelites know the water was pure? Did God use special effects like Hollywood? Was there a magic wave that changed the appearance of the water?


My guess is no, for here scripture also says the Lord tested them.

I believe the water remained the same in appearance, because God was testing their faith and this test seems very similar to Jesus’ healing of lepers in Luke 17:12-19.

Ten men with leprosy came to Jesus begging for mercy and healing. He did nothing, but “…when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests…’” Now, if they trusted Jesus, they would go immediately to the priests, which they did. Scripture continues, “…And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.”

Could it be, as Israel drank, they tasted sweet water and with each sip, their faith in God grew?

Additionally, God set forth an official order and a regulation by giving Israel four ways to obey. They were to heed the voice of the Lord…do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes.”

On the surface, these four requirements may seem like works. However, the Lord is also involving their heart by using words like heed or listening carefully, give ear or pay attention to His voice and decrees.

Unfortunately, sinful humans have no desire to do either without a repentant, yielded heart.

But, with Israel’s surrender and faithful obedience, this sovereign and omniscient God promises to keep them safe, healthy and Egyptian-disease free.

Why? Because He is Jehovah-rapha, “…the Lord who heals you”.

Our God knows every intricacy of the human body and His character is

many-faceted

We are His creation. It is His right to heal physically or not as He so chooses. Physical healing is just one facet. It is who He is and one of His names is

Jehovah-rapha

- The Lord Who Heals You.

Scholars have calculated this miracle at Marah happened around 1446 BC, about 1,500 years before the crucifixion of Jesus and it speaks of healing. Some mistakenly think the Cross of Jesus Christ provides physical healing.

Healing did not begin with the Cross nor is physical healing guaranteed by it.

What the Cross of Christ does guarantee is spiritual healing or salvation, for all who come to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24, John 6:37)

This Tree at Marah, foretold our redemption by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.

Just as Israel, we are saved by grace through faith, to love, obey, and serve our Lord Christ.

For Israel, this Tree represented future spiritual healing through their promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. But before Messiah comes, they need to yield to God’s order, follow His regulation and continually pass this test.

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