Exodus Teaching - 05 - On the Way to Sinai

Title: Exodus Teaching - 05 - On the Way to Sinai
Category: Bible Studies
Subject: Exodus Study

If we are to appreciate fully that which followed the crossing of the Red Sea, there are a few things we must keep in mind. In the first place, when we look at the story of the Exodus we are going to have to remind ourselves of God’s deliverance and His providential care. His providential care is not accidental, it is not incidental, not a spur of the moment thing. It is intentional and the more we study the Old Testament Scripture the more convincing it is that God had everything mapped out from the beginning. I once heard someone say, “There are no accidents.” Of course, when I was a young boy on the farm my parents thought I was an accident looking for a place to happen, and usually found it. But, Creation was no accident. The Flood was no accident. The confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel was no accident. The scattering of language groups all over the world was no accident.

My good friend, Dr. Bill Cooper, who was gracious enough to include my name in his Acknowledgments in his last four books, has documented Flood stories from around the world in his book, The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, including those stories handed down through the ages in the most remote part of Africa, Australia, Pacific Island groups, and even among the American Indians of the south and southwest in America. Possibly one of the lesser known Native American Tribes, the Chitimacha Indians of south Louisiana, according to Dr. Cooper, have a Flood story, as well as a version of the story of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues. The Chitimacha Indians say, “We have always lived here.” By “here” the mean the swamp lands of south Louisiana, where they have lived while better known tribes have migrated or been subjected to forced migration.

I was pastor of a church that co-sponsored the mission work at Little Pass Baptist Mission, which is adjacent to the Chitimacha Indian Reservation. The pastor, Bobby Hodnet, took my older son John and me to see Ma Faye, the widow of the last chief of the Chitimacha Tribe. This tribe is known for basket weaving and Ma Faye has baskets in the Smithsonian,. She gave her pastor one of her baskets to give me. When I looked into the basket there was a small package in it and when I opened it there was a chain and pennant that had been made by her son Nick Stouffe. I treasure them both. But, think how far the Chitimacha Indians are from Mt Ararat, both in time and distance. However, we can be sure their distant ancestors migrated from that part of the world. So did yours and mine, for that matter.

There are countless tribes all over the world who have Flood traditions, which include the Confusion of Tongues at the Tower of Babel. Many of these tribes have never been in touch with others, and some have been enemies down through the ages. For more on this subject I would recommend Dr. Cooper’s book, The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis. The author has access to material that most American scholars may only see if they take a sabbatical and study related material in the British Museum. He has spent over forty years doing research.

The Cross was certainly no accident. God acted, history was made, and lives changed. For the God of Creation, the Flood and the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel, the parting of the waters of the Red Sea would have been no challenge at all. Space in the Bible is not littered with myth and legend and we are going to see that in our message today. What we are looking at is history, which someone has translated as HIS STORY. In the wilderness we shall see how Yahweh, the great I Am, first gave Himself, and then He made available to them the provisions necessary for their survival when that was needed and His protection when that was needed. The Lord had miraculously delivered the Israelites from Egypt, a place of slavery, misery, and death. We shall see some of the things He did for His Chosen People.


A. These Israelites Had Witnessed Something No One Else Had Ever Seen.

1. God parted the waters and let the Israelites walk across on dry land. Two million people had escaped across what may well have been a land bridge under surface of the Sea. There is definitely a land bridge, or shallow strip across the Gulf of Aqaba, beginning near the southeastern tip of what we know today as the Sinai Peninsula and running slightly to the northeast to the land of Midian (Arabia). Out in the main channel, as I have mentioned before, the water was deep enough for ships to sail through there, but it was not so deep that steep banks would have created problems for the Israelites, their carts and livestock in crossing. It was, however, deep enough to drown the Egyptians and their horses when they chased after them.

God parted the waters of the Red Sea and allowed the Israelites to cross over on dry land, as the waters stood like a mountain on either side of them. The Lord sent a pillar of cloud to guide the people by day and a pillar of fire to light the encampment by night. He had placed that pillar between the Israelites and the Egyptians so they could not attack them before they crossed the Red Sea. Once they had crossed over to the other side, the Egyptians pursued them with all the force of their chariots and cavalry, and then the Lord dropped the two walls of water onto them and they perished. The Hebrews watched the bodies wash up upon the shore. They were free! They were delivered from the death that was Egypt by the mighty hand of God. It took a miracle to set them free, just as it takes a miracle to set the spiritually dead person free from death, hell, and the grave.

If explorers Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams are right, and I am beginning to believe they are, the Lord led them to the ideal place for them to cross the Red Sea, a place where a ridge stretched all the way across the sea, from the southeastern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aqaba in a northeasterly direction to the coast of Midian, as I have already mentioned. The Midianites seemed to have been located in various places in the region, at various times, but one place they had settled was in Arabia. Now, that is interesting because Paul, in Galatians 4:25, refers to, “Mount Sinai in Arabia.” This adds support to the claims of Cornuke and Williams that the real Mount Sinai is in Midian, or Arabia.

2. Those ancient Israelites witnessed something the world had never seen before. Have you ever seen the waters of the Mississippi River part like that? Of course not, but if we had been there when the earthquake jiggled the New Madrid Fault and the Mississippi River ran backward for a while you might have wondered if the world was coming to an end. However, the only time the world had seen anything more amazing than this was when the Lord sent the great Flood in Noah’s day. So, what did the Israelites do after they crossed the Red Sea? They stopped to sing a song! They sang praises of the Lord, Who by His mighty hand had delivered them.

3. Now, I want to tell you a little story. Okay, it is not little story, it is a great story. In the first place, I was taught, like most everyone else, that the traditional site of Mount Sinai was in the tip of the Sinai peninsula between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Explorers, Larry Williams and Bob Cornuke set out to find the biblical Mt. Sinai, after Bob Cornuke and Astronaut Jim Irwin had climbed to the top of the traditional site and found nothing like that which is described in Exodus. Bob Cornuke is a retired police detective who had spent years investigating evidence in criminal cases. He says evidence does not tell you anything, the interpretation of the evidence does.

Larry Williams, a highly successful investment broker, financed this and other explorations. Through his Bible study, Bob Cornuke was convinced that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea at the point where the land bridge mentioned previously runs beneath the surface of the Gulf of Aqaba. He says that if you get the crossingpoint right you don’t have to worry about Mt. Sinai, and if you get Mt. Sinai, the Mountain of Moses, right you will have the crossing point right. We will come back to this later.

4. Please bear in mind, these Israelites were a part of one of the most amazing things the world has ever seen. They saw it up close and personal. They lived it! They had been delivered from the place of death and slavery by the mighty hand of God. No other people had ever been delivered like this, and no other people had ever been protected from and enemy quite like they had.

B. They Left the Red Sea and Began Their Long Journey.

“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water” (15:22).

1. They must have been in a high spirit as they began their march. A long day’s march can take a lot out of people, but in ancient time most people did a lot of walking. The Lord’s presence was with the Israelites as they marched and they had to sense it. He gave them a pillar of cloud which testified to the presence of the Lord during the day, and the pillar of fire to illuminate the camp at night. The Lord provided everything they needed to survive in the wilderness. Just imagine two million people camped out in a desert area with no light, no indoor bathrooms, no refrigerators, and hundreds of children crying out for water or asking to go to the bathroom! Imagine all those adults who had to get up at night! I don’t even want to think about what it would have been like in the dark. The Lord took care of that problem by providing light for them.

These free people may have had enough water for the first day or two, and perhaps they assumed there would be enough water along the way. Little did they realize their faith was being put to the test. One never knows just how he will respond when his faith is put to the test.

2. Then came day two. Surely, Moses knew where to find water. They marched on and on, but they found no water. No matter how many miracles they had seen in Egypt, no matter how great a miracle they had seen at the Red Sea, no matter how they had sung the Lord’s praises by the sea side, they were marching into the wilderness - away from water. The temperature was perhaps 128 degrees in the day time and it was extremely dry. Breathing dried the mouth and throat. There was no water along the way and their faith began to falter.

3. Then day three came and still they found no water. And then they did. Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams had carefully calculated the distance of a three day march as about 33 kilometers . They drove that distance and there they found the spring.

“(23) They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah. (24) The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?”

The word Marah means bitter and according to Cornuke and Williams, the water was extremely bitter: “We tasted the water and three or four hours later we still had a bitter taste in our mouth.” Notice what happened when this great multitude of escaped slaves finally reached Marah, the bitter spring. Before condemning the people you and I should remember what these people had experienced. There is no doubt that these people were like a lot of believers today: as long as the going is easy they faith seems strong, but let their faith be tested and many will begin to complain, criticize their leadership, and try to come up with their own solutions.

The people grumbled to Moses, “What shall we drink?” Imagine the frustration when they finally found water and it was not drinkable. This is the first indication we have that these people were Baptists! Ask any experienced pastor what happens when the latest plan for the church does not meet all the benefits the program promised. People begin to grumble and complain.

4. God told Moses to throw a tree into the water. “So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he threw it into the water, the water became drinkable” (15:25). Did they have to throw a tree into the water in order to make it drinkable? No. The Lord could have simply spoken the word, or just thought it and it would have happened. When the world He created was dark all He had to do to throw light into it was say, “Be light,” and there was light.

C. The Lord Made a Statute for Them at Marah, and Tested Them There (15:25-26).

“He made a statute and ordinance for them at Marah and He tested them there. (26) He said, “If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am Yahweh who heals you.”

As soon as the Lord gave them good water to drink He promised that He would not inflict any of the illnesses on them He had inflicted on the Egyptians. The gods of Egypt promised healing. Yahweh, the God who inflicted illness and pestilence on the Egyptians (which, by the way their gods could not heal!), is the One Who does heal. He said, “I am Yahweh who heals you.” Why is the lost world so determine to question that? Why do so many Christians wonder how God could judge anyone, how could He permit this accident or why did He permit that accident? Would a God of love send anyone to hell? He is “Yahweh who heals you,” not a heartless god who only seeks to destroy. He wants to heal, protect, and bless. His grace and mercy are so great, and so freely given, that anyone who looks Him in the face and says, “I don’t want You!”, is bringing death and destruction on himself.

D. They Then Marched on to Elim.

Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams drove away from Marah and their next stop was Elim. What did they find at Elim. There is no mention of the 70 palm trees, which would have been a surprise after nearly some 3500 years! Their report, however, is still powerful, for they did find the 12 springs at Elim, When the Israelites “came to Elim, where there were 12 springs of water and 70 date palms, and they camped there by the waters” (Ex 15:27, HCSB).


A. As They Marched on into the Wilderness, the People Grumbled and Complained (16:1-3).

“The entire Israelite community departed from Elim and came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt. (2) The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. (3) The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!”

1. They put the Lord to the test. God cannot be tempted to sin, but people may try to put Him to the test. The Lord had put them to the test before, and now they grumble and complain against Him. They had marched out of Egypt, desperate for freedom, desperately clinging to their children, and eating what food they had taken with them from Egypt. The thing that amazes the modern reader is that they had been miraculously preserved during the plagues in Egypt, and they were protected at the Red Sea, and they had been given good water at Marah. Now, their grumbling becomes more intense and more sustained as the people turn on Moses. They had every reason to trust the Lord, but they had begun complaining against Moses and the Lord.

2. The Lord rained bread from heaven for His people (16:4-5).

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions. (5) On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”

The Lord told Moses that he was going to rain down bread from heaven to satisfy the needs of the people. All their food needs would by met and in doing it this way He was putting the people to the test. The food supply would be adequate to meet the needs of the people until they reached Canaan, at which time the manna would cease and they would eat the produce of the land. I have heard people pray, “Lord, send us manna from heaven today,” and my silent prayer is, “Lord, please don’t do it!” I want the true Bread of Heaven, not something that does not satisfy. Those people who spent years living on manna were not happy. They fussed, complained and attacked their leaders. Those who pray, “Lord, send us manna from heaven,” are not voicing my prayers. Manna was the food of the wilderness, not the food of the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Manna kept the Children of Israel alive for 40 years in the wilderness, but that is all it did. It did not satisfy, but then they were not suppose to linger in the wilderness for forty years. They did not die for want of food in the wilderness, but they were never satisfied and they constantly griped and complained.

Come to think of it, maybe some of our people have been living on manna! They are out of Egypt but they are lingering in the wilderness instead of possessing their possessions in Canaan, the Land of Promise. We have been delivered from death to live with and for the Lord, as He brought the Israelites out of Egypt to take them into Canaan. Major Ian Thomas wrote that “He brought them out to take them in” - out of Egypt, into Canaan. Never did He plan for them to waste away in a miserable wilderness for forty years. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend my life eating manna, when Jesus offers us the Bread of Life: “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again” (John 6:35).

B. The Lord Provided Quail and Manna for the People (Ex. 16:6-32).

1. The Lord offered Himself to bless the people (Ex. 16:6-10).

“So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites: “This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt; (7) in the morning you will see the Lord’s glory because He has heard your complaints about Him. For who are we that you complain about us?” (8) Moses continued, “The Lord will give you meat to eat this evening and more than enough bread in the morning, for He has heard the complaints that you are raising against Him. Who are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.” (16:6-8, HCSB)

That evening they would have proof that it was the Lord who had brought them out of Egypt. Moses declared that their complaints were against the Lord, not against Moses and Aaron. The Lord promised to give meat in the evening and bread the next morning. Moses told Aaron to invite the Israelites to “come before the Lord for He has heard your complaints” (Vs. 9). The people turned toward the wilderness and, “as Aaron was speaking and to the entire Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there in a cloud the Lord’s glory appeared” (16:10). There will be another message in the series from Exodus, on the glory of the Lord. I sometimes wonder how seriously Christians consider, desire, or seek the glory of the Lord. What does the glory of the Lord mean to you? I must confess that this is an area in which I feel that I have failed to appreciate the glory of the Lord. What about you?

2. That night they would eat quail. The Lord provided quail for their meat for the evening meal. Jim Caldwell worked in Saudi Arabia for a number of years, and while Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams were searching for Mt. Sinai from the west, Jim and Penny Caldwell and their son and daughter approached the area from the east and camped out around Mt. Sinai. They did some serious research into the location before they found what they believer to be Mt. Sinai. They continued their studies as they camped out and explored the area. The Caldwells visited Mt. Sinai fourteen times over a period of eight years. Im worked in Saudi Arabia for a number or years and each year they were required by the Saudi government to leave the land for 24 days. They spent that time camped out around Mt. Sinai, exploring, and finding things of interest to serious students of the Word of God.

The Caldwells showed pictures of quail running around all over the area. They stated that there was a belief that the quail would fly over the Red Sea, and when they arrived they may have been too weak to continue without resting. One study Bible I consulted noted that the quails flew over the Mediterranean Sea, but if that had been the case they would have found a place to rest much closer to the sea than Midian. Whatever the case, the quail landed on the desert floor and the people picked them up and ate them. The Lord said that when they found and ate the quails, “Then you will know that I am Yahweh your God.” Yahweh is the Covenant name for God, which He gave to Moses at the burning bush. It is an especially holy name.

3. The next morning they ate the bread of heaven (16:13-20). The next morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp.

(14) “When the layer of dew evaporated, there were fine flakes on the desert surface, as fine as frost on the ground. (15) When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, “What is it?” because they didn’t know what it was. Moses told them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. (16) This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat. You may take two quarts per individual, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’”

(17) So the Israelites did this. Some gathered a lot, some a little. (18) When they measured it by quarts, the person who gathered a lot had no surplus, and the person who gathered a little had no shortage. Each gathered as much as he needed to eat. (19) Moses said to them, “No one is to let any of it remain until morning.” (20) But they didn’t listen to Moses; some people left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and smelled. Therefore Moses was angry with them.”

The Lord gave specific instructions with regards to the gathering of the manna, and regardless of how much the people gathered the supply was adequate. If they gathered too much those violating the instructions of the Lord and would find their excess spoiled. (21) “They gathered it every morning. Each gathered as much as he needed to eat, but when the sun grew hot, it melted.”

3. Specific instructions were given for the Sabbath (16:22-30). Even on the wilderness journey they were not to forget the Sabbath Day. To forget or misuse the Sabbath was to forget and dishonor the Lord of the Sabbath. Let’s look at what happened there on the wilderness road.

(22) On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported ⌊this⌋ to Moses. (23) He told them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil, and set aside everything left over to be kept until morning.’”

(24) So they set it aside until morning as Moses commanded, and it didn’t smell or have any maggots in it. (25) “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the Lord. Today you won’t find any in the field. (26) For six days you may gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

(27) Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find any. (28) Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commands and instructions? (29) Understand that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He will give you two days’ worth of bread. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.” (30) So the people rested on the seventh day.

4. They were told to save some of the manna for a memorial. This was the Lord’s command, not something Moses dreamed up, or something they decided on an impulse to do. This was not optional, since the Lord commanded it. (16:31) The house of Israel named the substance manna. It resembled coriander seed, was white, and tasted like wafers ⌊made⌋ with honey. (32) Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Two quarts of it are to be preserved throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”

(33) Moses told Aaron, “Take a container and put two quarts of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be preserved throughout your generations.” (34) As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron placed it before the testimony to be preserved.

(35) The Israelites ate manna for 40 years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate manna until they reached the border of the land of Canaan. (36) (Two quarts are a tenth of an ephah.)

From Creation forward great emphasis had been placed on the Sabbath. The Sabbath Day was a holy day, a day of rest - but not simply rest. The Sabbath was a day set aside by the Lord, and as such the people were ordered to desist from their normal routine and keep that day holy before the Lord. Now, all those years later, we find that the Lord places the same emphasis on the Sabbath. Today, we worship on the first day of the week, following the example of certain early saints who commemorated the Resurrection by worshiping the Lord on that day. Let us remind ourselves of the importance the Lord place on the Lord’s Day.

How do you honor the Lord on the day set aside to worship and honor Him? When I was a youth minister I visited a faithful family with four children. Little Jeff was five years old and his mother told me about something that had happened the previous Sunday in Sunday School. The teacher, we will call her Mrs. Jones, asked the class, “Boys and girls, why do we come to Sunday School and church on Sunday?” Several children raised their hands and she gave each one an opportunity to speak. Then she said, “That’s right! It’s because we love Jesus!” Little Jeff raised his hand and when Mrs. Jones recognized him he said, “Mrs. Jones, don’t you love Jesus on Sunday night?” She, by the way, told Jeff’s mother what he had said. That is a fair question for a lot of church members today. I have asked church members, “What’s more important to you than God on His Day?”


These people, the Children of Israel, saw more of the power, provisions, and protection from the Lord that anyone else had ever seen since the days of Noah, and that protection only covered eight people. Possible exceptions in the future would be the events surrounding the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of the Lord. No doubt, end time events will be overwhelming, but apart from that, it would seem that more miracles were seen by the Israelites during the Exodus , the events of Sinai, and the Conquest of Canaan than any other people have ever seen.

Having seen How the Lord delivered His Chosen People from slavery, how He provided for them, and how He protected them from all enemies, all by His mighty hand, I would like for us to see a principle that runs through the Bible, especially the Old Testament. If you will think with me about Psalm 23 I think I can make my point.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Vs. 1) This is the message of David’s great hymn. Someone rendered it, “The LORD is my Shepherd, and that is all I want.” Everything that follows is little more than commentary to explain and affirm what the first verse says. Please remember that this all begins with a relationship: The Lord is my Shepherd. David did not say the Lord was “a” shepherd, He said, The LORD (YAHWEH) is my shepherd.” Without that relationship we can stop right here. Nothing else matters. Once I use the possessive pronoun, “my”, everything else is settled. Once that relationship is settled I can appreciate two of its benefits: His provisions and His protection.

Many years ago two British pastors, according to a source I read, were vacationing in Scotland and enjoying the scenery as they walked leisurely through the country side. One day, they came upon a young shepherd boy who was watching the family flock. They stopped and talked with him and when they realized he was open to a testimony about the Lord, they talked with him about the Twenty Third Psalm. Because of his youth they were very careful not to push him or to mislead him. Finally when they asked if he would like to call Jesus his Shepherd he assured them he would.

One of the pastors asked him to hold up one hand and spread his fingers. Then they asked him to take the index finger on the other hand and touch the thumb on the other hand and say, “the Lord,” then the index finger and say, “is”, and then the middle finger and say, “my.” Then he said to the boy, if you want Jesus to be your Good Shepherd take your ring finger in your other hand and hold it.” Then they asked him to point to the little finger and say, “Shepherd.”

The next year they were vacationing in the same area and looked for the young boy, but did not see him. They, however, had not forgotten him. One day, they stopped by a small house and knocked to ask for a drink of water. As they talked with the lady of the house one minister said, “Last year when we were here we met a young boy who was tending his family’s sheep. We have looked for him this week but we have not seen him. Do you have any idea who he is?”

The lady said, “He was our son. He fell from a cliff and when he was found he was dead. But there is one thing I would like to ask you. Maybe you will know, but no one around here has an answer. When they found him he was clutching the ring finger of his left hand in his right hand. Do you have any idea why he would have been doing that? They smiled and one said, “Yes. That is the ‘my’ finger.” The mother looked puzzled and asked what he meant. They explained that they had taught him that the ring finger was the “my” finger and if he accepted Jesus Christ as his Good Shepherd he should take hold of that finger. You son was telling you that he had made Jesus his Lord and Savior.” The mother was relieved and excited.

There are two basic benefits of a personal relationship with our Good Shepherd: His provisions and His protection. This includes our eternal salvation and His constant care for the sheep of His pasture, but let’s look right now at the temporal blessings.

First, there are His provisions: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2). David is not the only one who has been permitted to call the Lord, “my Shepherd.” (23:3) “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.” Jesus assures us that He is The Good Shepherd (John 10). He is our Good Shepherd. A major emphasis of the Bible is upon trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation, and then living a life that glorifies Him. He gives us eternal life (John 3:16) and then leads us in the paths of righteousness. He does that, not for our credit or glory, but “for His name’s sake.” The Lord redeems us and leads us in the paths of righteousness. In the New Testament, we find that Jesus saves us and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. Paul wrote, “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son...” (Rom. 8:29, HCSB). That is a great definition of sanctification: Being conformed to the image of Jesus. No miracle in Exodus is greater than that. The question is, do we follow Him? Do we really want to be like Jesus? We have that opportunity, but we cannot make it happen. That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who are willing to follow Jesus.

Next, there is His protection. David wrote, in Psalm 23:4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” This points to His protection.

(23:5) “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” That points to the blessings of a relationship with our Good Shepherd.

(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever” (Psalms 23:1-6, NKJV). Continuing provisions and protection depend upon an eternal relationship.

The Lord offered a personal relationship between Himself and people of Israel during the entire forty years they were in the wilderness. Sadly, they should have been in the Land of Canaan withing two years of the Exodus, had the people simply trusted in Him. They did not and they paid a high price for their sin and rebellion.

Many who profess faith in Jesus Christ today are paying a high price for either misunderstanding their relationship to Him, or misrepresenting that relationship. Some church members are genuinely born by the grace of God, but they are not faithful to Him. They may feel secure in the knowledge that Jesus has said, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). They remain like new born babies for the rest of their lives. Such a life does not fool the Lord, and those who profess Him but choose not to follow Him will pay a price they cannot imagine.

There are others who are lost and they will tell you anything you want to hear to keep you from witnessing to them. They must repent or perish (may I mention the word hell here?). Jesus promises living water to all who will call on Him: “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” (John 7:37-38)

Jesus also said, “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (John 6:35) Jesus is offering you eternal life, a special quality of life, not just endless life. I have received the life He offers and I would urge you to do so.