Exodus 15* The song of Moses for the deliverance of Israel. (1-21) Thebitter waters at Marah, The Israelites come to Elim. (22-27)1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holysong, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate hispraise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man.Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may beconsidered as typical, and prophetical of the final destructionof the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is theLord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, andafflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his graceis their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him theyhave comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hellthreaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lordis a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive withtheir Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is gloriousin holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears inthe hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. Itappears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness tohis own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matterof praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to hisenemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course ofnature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, whoare so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. Therewere wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was tobe humbly adored. 22-27 In the wilderness of Shur the Israelites had no water. AtMarah they had water, but it was bitter; so that they could notdrink it. God can make bitter to us that from which we promiseourselves most, and often does so in the wilderness of thisworld, that our wants, and disappointments in the creature, maydrive us to the Creator, in whose favour alone true comfort isto be had. In this distress the people fretted, and quarrelledwith Moses. Hypocrites may show high affections, and appearearnest in religious exercises, but in the time of temptationthey fall away. Even true believers, in seasons of sharp trial,will be tempted to fret, distrust, and murmur. But in everytrial we should cast our care upon the Lord, and pour out ourhearts before him. We shall then find that a submissive will, apeaceful conscience, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost, willrender the bitterest trial tolerable, yea, pleasant. Moses didwhat the people had neglected to do; he cried unto the Lord. AndGod provided graciously for them. He directed Moses to a treewhich he cast into the waters, when, at once, they were madesweet. Some make this tree typical of the cross of Christ, whichsweetens the bitter waters of affliction to all the faithful,and enables them to rejoice in tribulation. But a rebelliousIsraelite shall fare no better than a rebellious Egyptian. Thethreatening is implied only, the promise is expressed. God isthe great Physician. If we are kept well, it is he that keepsus; if we are made well, it is he that recovers us. He is ourlife and the length of our days. Let us not forget that we arekept from destruction, and delivered from our enemies, to be theLord's servants. At Elim they had good water, and enough of it.Though God may, for a time, order his people to encamp by thebitter waters of Marah, that shall not always be their lot. Letus not faint at tribulations.
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