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Friday, February 25, 2022

2022.02.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 15:22–27

Read Exodus 15:22–27

Questions from the Scripture text: Who brought whom from where into where (Exodus 15:22)? How long did they go? What didn’t they find? To where do they come in Exodus 15:23? What couldn’t they do? Why not? So, what did they call that place? What did the people do in response to whom (Exodus 15:24)? And what did he do (Exodus 15:25)? How did the Lord respond to him? And what did Moses do with the tree? What else did the Lord make for them? What four things did He say they must do (Exodus 15:26)? And if they did, what did He say He would not do? Why? To where do they come in Exodus 15:27? What do they find there? What do they do there?

We get introduced to something horrible in this passage, just three days after the glorious song with which this chapter began. The Hebrew word for ‘grumble’ appears for the first time in the Bible in Exodus 15:24. It is going to dominate chapters 15–17 and Numbers 14–16. Elsewhere, this word appears only once in Joshua 9:18. Grumbling is a great sin against God under any circumstance. The people may have assured themselves that their grumbling was “against Moses.” But, Moses was given to them by God. And every time we indulge in a grumbling spirit, it is not ultimately against whatever it is against which we tell ourselves that we are grumbling. Ultimately, all grumbling is against God.

Of course, the first use of the word is not the first instance of the sin. The people had already grumbled against Moses when pinned against the Red Sea in Exodus 14:11. There and here, the Lord responds with remarkable patience. “Yahweh showed him a tree” (Exodus 15:25). The Lord could have just made the waters sweet miraculously, but He gives His servant an opportunity to gain esteem in the Israelites’ eyes by making him the agent of the sweetening of the waters.

The sweet water doesn’t come “free,” however. It comes with a test (end of Exodus 15:25). All they have to do is walk with the Lord according to His Word, and He will heal them of everything (Exodus 15:26). The implied threat, however, is that if they are Egyptians in their conduct, then they will receive as the Egyptians did in their consequences. 

The Lord, for His part, here calls Himself “Yahweh Who heals you” (end of verse 26). He is encouraging them to embrace Him as Savior, to walk according to His Word, and to enjoy His provision and protection. And He immediately brings them to a place where there is not just one well, but twelve wells in the wilderness. Isaac had been extraordinarily blessed to dig four wells in Genesis 26. Here, they obtain not four wells but twelve, and that without digging at all! 

Our God has identified Himself to us as our Savior. We know that He Himself can never change, and the righteousness and sacrifice of Christ can never be undone. But will we embrace Him and His identity, or will we go from providence to providence, allowing our circumstances to dictate whether we respond with a grumbling spirit? Let us remember that one aspect of the Lord’s dealing with His people is His testing us. He puts us in circumstances to bring out of us whether there will be the contentment of faith or the grumbling of unbelief. Let us look to Him to give the faith and its contentment, lest what comes out be the bitterness of our old man and his grumbling.

In what situation right now are you tempted to grumble? How might it change your response to remember that the Lord gives such situations to His people to test what will come out of them? How can you know for sure that this situation is ultimately for your good?

Sample prayer:  Lord, when Your people grumbled against You, an entire generation of them fell in the wilderness. But we are still quick to grumble when our experience turns difficult or bitter. Forgive us! Have mercy! Take away the grumbly hearts of our former nature, and give us the contented heart of Christ! Count His contentment for us as our righteousness, wipe away our guilt by His sacrifice, and make us to be good by giving us from His own goodness, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted, Lord” or TPH429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

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