On to Sinai

On to Sinai

  1. Song of Triumph. Immediately after the hosts of Israel had passed over the sea and their safety had been assured by the destruction of their enemies, they celebrated the great event by a song of triumph ( Exodus 15:1-19 ). When we reflect that the population of Israel at this time was probably equal to the combined populations of New York and Brooklyn and that the encampment extended over a territory of several miles in circumference, and when we think of the long night of bondage through which they had passed, and when we listen to the waves of the sea as they sing the requiem of their foes, wave answering to wave, until God's vengeance is satisfied, we may well conclude that no grander burst of song ever reverberated through the hills of time or arose to the gates of Heaven!

  2. Marah. The waters were bitter at Marah. They were sweetened by the command of the Lord, and the assurance was given that the Lord would care for and protect the obedient ( Exodus 15:23-26 ).

  3. Elim. At this encampment the hosts of Israel drank of the twelve refreshing wells, and rested under the cooling shade of the trees ( Exodus 15:27 ).

  4. In the Wilderness of Sin. They arrived at Sin on the fifteenth day of the second month, which was exactly one month after their departure from Egypt ( Exodus 12:1-37 ; Exodus 16:1 ; Numbers 33:3 ). During this encampment,
    1. they murmured against Moses and Aaron ( Exodus 16:2 ),
    2. manna and quails were given to prove their faith ( Exodus 16:3-15 ),
    3. a Sabbath was kept, and it was attested by the Lord in giving a double portion of manna on the sixth day, withholding it on the seventh, and preserving the supply kept for that day ( Exodus 16:16-30 ),
    4. a pot of manna was filled for future generations ( Exodus 16:32-35 ).

  5. Rephidim. At this encampment,
    1. the people complained at Moses because of the scarcity of water;
    2. at the Lord's command, Moses smote the rock and the water gushed out, and the place was called "Massah" and "Meribah," because the children of Israel tempted the Lord and asked if He were among them or not;
    3. they fought their first battle and Joshua distinguished himself as leader;
    4. and Moses set up the memorial altar, and recorded the threat of destruction against the Amalekites ( Exodus 17:1-16 ).

  6. Jethro. The account of the visit of Jethro is doubtless out of its order. The fact is, the exact time cannot be determined. When Moses departed from Egypt he took his wife and sons with him ( Exodus 4:19 Exodus 4:20 ). At some point on the journey he sent them back. This probably occurred after the exciting episode at the inn ( Exodus 4:24-26 ). During the encampment at Sinai, Jethro brought the family of Moses into the camp ( Exodus 18:1-6 ). Jethro was a priest or prince, and as he was a descendant of Abraham ( Genesis 25:1 Genesis 25:2 ; Exodus 2:15-21 ), he was in all probability a worshipper of God. Indeed, he plainly showed this in his conduct at Mount Sinai ( Exodus 18:1-13 )> He found Moses engaged in the immense undertaking of judging the people ( Exodus 18:13-17 ). At his suggestion Moses inaugurated a system that for wisdom and practicality cannot be improved. It consisted of wise men who were to be,
    1. rulers over tens,
    2. rulers over fifties,
    3. rulers over hundreds,
    4. rulers over thousands,
    5. and Moses to be the final court of appeal.

    After leaving the impress of his mighty character upon the government of Israel, Jethro departed to his own country ( Exodus 13:17-27 ).