By: Ely Lagajino
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14 (KJV)
Water shortage is one of the major challenges Moses encounters while traveling with the Israelites through the desert. We now find the Israelites ones again worrying about water supply instead of talking about what God can do for them.
Some scholars estimate the exodus multitude at 4 to 5 million. Let’s take our conservative estimates. The Bible says that 600,000 men joined the exodus, excluding women and children. Suppose half of the men 300,000 were married and had three children each, so 300,000 men plus 300,000 of their wives, plus 900,000 children equal to 1.5 million. Plus, the 300,000 single men and single ladies. So it could reach 2 million or more.
How many gallons of water for the 2 million Israelites and thousands of sheep, cattle and other animals will quench their thirst?
At Marah water tasted bitter, and they murmured against Moses. The water from Marah represents the unbelieving, irritable attitude of the Israelites who did not trust God. But they felt embarrassed later on when God changed it into the sweetest water they have ever tasted; not only to satisfy their thirst but replenish their lost electrolytes.
With their promise to obey and trust God, the pillar of cloud leads them to another station just five miles away from Marah. Here at Elim, God prepares twelve wells of natural water; one for each tribe and seventy palm trees as children’s playground. At Elim, which means a great place the Israelites set up their tents. Moses tells them, “We are going to camp here for one week”.
At last, after a month of hiking in the wilderness under the scorching heat of the sun, they can now take a bath, refresh, do the laundry, and enjoy their rest as if they were already in the Promised Land.
Life on earth, always, has bitter challenges, but rest assured that we will overcome them through Jesus Christ, the living water, the fountain of life. Ex. 15:22-27; PP p.304, 305