Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Following God

Exodus 15: 22-27

God gave me the position of leadership over the children of Israel. My name is Moses.

I had no idea I would go before Pharaoh with messages from God, raise my staff to bring on God's plagues to the Egyptians, and lead our nation's escape.

Yet, here I walk through the desert sands of the Wilderness of Shur.  I don't know where we're going, exactly.  My job is to lead the people where God wants us to go. 

Are you wondering how I know which way to lead?  God's presence is in a large cloud above us. When He lets us rest, the cloud stops moving. When He wants us to move forward, the cloud lifts in the direction He wants us to go.

We've traveled for three days since leaving the Red Sea.  A lot has happened.  During the first and second days the people often looked back to see if the Egyptians sent another army.  They jumped when unusual sounds came from behind them. 

We drank most of the water by the end of the second day. No one knew we would travel through the desert for a long time. We expected to find pools or streams of water along the way. When no water was found by the end of the second day, we rationed our drinks. The people grew thirsty.

On the third day we came to Marah.  Before I could say a word the Israelites flocked to the water and gulped.  It was a bad idea. We needed to have someone test it first.  Sure enough, the Israelites spit out the water and screamed about the bitter tase. "What do you expect us to drink, Moses? This water is bad!"

I fetl sorry for them; afterall, I was thirsty too.  My toungue stuck to the roof of my mouth like mortar on bricks. I stepped away from the people and cried out to God.  "Lord, what should we do? We're thirsty."

At the end of my prayer, I opened my eys and noticed a particular tree.  Several men help me throw the tree into the water. We waited a few moments then tasted the water.  I must admit, it was delicious.  I stepped aside to let the people get their fill of drink before satisfying my thirst.

The adults sat on the shores of the water and rested while the children splashed and the animals cooled themselves in the water.

That night the Israelites sang praises to God around campfires. They remembered the Red Sea, and now the waters of Marah.  While they sang and told stories, I walked to a quiet place to talk with the Lord.

I sat on a sandy hill overlooking the people waiting for God to meet with me.  He said, "Tell My people: If you heed my voice and do what is right in my sight by keeping my commandments, I will keep all of the diseases which the Egyptians suffered from happening to you. For I am the Lord who heals you."

I told the Israelites His message and showed them the cloud moving.  We continued walking until we reached Elim. There we found twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees.  A perfect place to camp for a while.

Following God isn't easy. But I know He will take care of us.

1.  What wilderness did God lead the Israelites to?
2.  What did the people need?
3.  Where did they find it?  Was it good?
4.  What did God tell Moses to do to fix the water?
5.  God allowed the water at Marah to be bitter because He wanted to see if the people would   
      ask Him for help.  Did they?
6.  What can we learn from this story?

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!