Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 140

Israel Meets With Difficulties

This chapter is based on Exodus 15:22-27; 16 to 18.

From the Red Sea the people of Israel again set out on their journey under the guidance of the pillar of cloud. They were full of joy in their new sense of freedom, and every unhappy, complaining thought was hushed.

But as they journeyed for three days, they could find no water. The supply which they had taken with them was gone. There was nothing to quench their burning thirst as they dragged wearily over the sun-burnt plains. Moses, who was familiar with this region, knew what the others did not: at Marah, where springs were found, the water was unfit for use. With a sinking heart he heard the glad shout, “Water! water!” echo along the line. Men, women, and children joyfully hurried and crowded around the oasis, when suddenly a cry of anguish erupted—the water was bitter!

In their despair the people blamed Moses, not remembering that God’s presence in that mysterious cloud had been leading him as well as them. Moses did what they had forgotten to do; he called earnestly to God for help. “And the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.” Here God gave the promise to Israel: “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

The people journeyed from Marah to Elim, where they found “twelve wells of water,” and they stayed there for several days.

When they had been gone from Egypt for a month, their stock of food began to run out. How could such a large number of people be fed? Even the rulers and elders joined in complaining against the leaders God had appointed: “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

They had not yet actually gone hungry, but they feared for the future. In imagination they saw their children starving. The Lord permitted difficulties to surround them and their supply

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