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Old Testament Miracles 502
The Waters of Marah Sweetened
Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the Shur Desert. They traveled in this desert for three days without water. When they came to Marah, they finally found water. But the people couldn't drink it because it was bitter. (That is why the place was called Marah, which means "bitter."
Then the people turned against Moses. "What are we going to drink?" they demanded.
So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a branch. Moses took the branch and threw it into the water. This made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the Lord laid before them the following conditions to test their faithfulness to him: "If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and laws, then I will not make you suffer the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you."
The waters of Marah are contrasted with the springs of Elim. Marah stood for the unbelieving, grumbling attitude of the people who would not trust God. Elim stands for God’s bountiful provision. How easy it is to grumble and complain too quickly, only to be embarrassed by God’s help!
Manna sent daily, except on Sabbath
Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them, "In the evening you will realize that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glorious presence of the Lord. He has heard your complaints, which are against the Lord and not against us.  The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us."
It happened again. As the Israelites encountered danger, shortages, and inconvenience, they complained bitterly and longed to be back in Egypt. But as always, God provided for their needs. Difficult circumstances often lead to stress, and complaining are a natural response.
The Israelites didn’t really want to be back in Egypt; they just wanted life to get a little easier. In the pressure of the moment, they could not focus on the cause of their stress (in this case, lack of trust in God); they could only think about the quickest way of escape. When pressure comes your way, resist the temptation to make a quick escape. Instead, focus on God’s power and wisdom to help you deal with the cause of your stress.
Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them, "In the evening you will realize that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glorious presence of the Lord. He has heard your complaints, which are against the Lord and not against us. The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us."
God promised to meet the Hebrews’ need for food in the desert, but he decided to test their obedience. God wanted to see if they would obey his detailed instructions. We can learn to trust him as our Lord only by following. We can learn to obey by taking small steps of obedience.
Manna appeared on the ground each day as thin flakes like frost. The people gathered it, ground it like grain, and made it into honey-tasting pancakes. For the Israelites the manna was a gift—it came every day and was just what they needed. It satisfied their temporary physical need. In John 6:48-51 Jesus compares himself to manna. Christ is our daily bread who satisfies our eternal, spiritual need.
Water From the Rock at Rephidim
At the Lord's command, the people of Israel left the Sin Desert and moved from place to place. Eventually they came to Rephidim, but there was no water to be found there. So once more the people grumbled and complained to Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded.
"Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you arguing with me? And why are you testing the Lord?" But tormented by thirst, they continued to complain, "Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here? We, our children, and our livestock will all die!" Then Moses pleaded with the Lord, "What should I do with these people? They are about to stone me!"
The Lord said to Moses, "Take your shepherd's staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile. Then call some of the leaders of Israel and walk on ahead of the people. I will meet you by the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come pouring out. Then the people will be able to drink." Moses did just as he was told, and as the leaders looked on, water gushed out.
Again the people complained about their problem instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or by rearranging our priorities. Discussion and good counsel can solve some. But only prayer can solve some problems. We should make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining, because complaining only raises our level of stress. Prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen.
Nadab and Abihu Consumed for Offering Strange Fire
Next Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to the whole community. Fire blazed forth from the Lord's presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw all this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.
Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it. In this way, they disobeyed the Lord by burning before him a different kind of fire than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the Lord's presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord.
Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord meant when he said,
'I will show myself holy among those who are near me. I will be glorified
Before all the people.' " And Aaron was silent.
Moses said to the people, “This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.” Moses, Aaron, and the people then got to work and followed God’s instructions. Soon after, the glory of the Lord appeared. Often we look for God’s glorious acts without concern for following his instructions. Do you serve God in the daily routines of life, or do you wait for him to do a mighty act? If you depend on his glorious acts, you may find yourself sidestepping your everyday duty to obey.
How did the waters of Marah become sweetened?
How often did God send manna to the Israelites?
The complaints of the people of Israel, was not against Moses but against?
When pressure comes your way, resistance patient to make a quick escape. Instead focus on?
In what way could you say that Jesus is our manna?
Questions Taken from “Water from the Rock at Rephidim”:
When the people were at Rephidim complaining about having no water, Moses said?
What did the Lord tell Moses to do to bring forth water from the rock?
We should make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining because complaining only?
Questions taken from “Nadab and Abihu Consumed for Offering Strange Fire.”
How did the people respond when the Lord demonstrated his presence?
What caused the death of Abihu and Nadab?
How did Aaron respond when his sons were destroyed by fire?
God tends not to display his power in the form of mighty Physical acts. Instead he works to change the world through?