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The Oasis Of Elim — Exodus 15

And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.” (Exodus 15:27)

After the Hebrews left Marah, they came to the place of rest and refreshing. They arrived at the Oasis of Elim where there was an abundance of cool shade and fresh water to drink. Let us consider three parallels between the Hebrews’ experiences at Marah and Elim and the our own Christian experience:

Marah Was On The Route To Elim

Despite the message coming from the popular televangelists, bad things will happen from time to time to even the most faithful of God’s people. The Children of Israel had not wandered off the path where the Spirit of God was taking them, they were following the Pillar every step of the way. It wasn’t their lack of faith that caused them to come to Marah.  God brought them to Marah, the place of bitter waters!

Jesus said that the Christian will have tribulation in the world…period (John 16:33). He never said it would come if we did this or did not do that. It will come. God brought the Hebrews to Marah to show them that He is their Provider in all circumstances, good and bad. We will all come to bitter waters in our life, but it is in these times that we must look to the Tree that God has shown us, the Cross of Christ, and let it make those bitter waters sweet.

The Time Comes To Leave Marah

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)

The Lord might bring us to Marah, but He does not leave us there. We are called to suffer at times, but that suffering only lasts for a season. The time will come to pack up and leave Marah and enter into the Oasis of Elim. God reminded the Children of Israel in the midst of their time in Marah that He would bring none of the diseases upon them that He brought upon the Egyptians if they would hearken to His voice (Ex. 15:26). What God did to Egypt was judge it, it was the outpouring of His wrath on a people who rejected and defied Him. He will chasten and discipline His own children (Heb. 12:6), but He does not judge them in His wrath (1 Thess. 5:9). God allowed the Hebrews to face the bitter waters of Marah for a purpose; not to destroy them but to build them up.

The Time Comes To Leave Elim

And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin…” (Exodus 16:1a)

As wonderful and pleasant as Elim was, this was not the final destination for the Children of Israel. The time came for them to leave. And where did they go from there? Into the wilderness again. To be in a place of peace and prosperity is an awesome thing, but we should never expect to stay there indefinitely. We are called to be soldiers for the Lord (2 Tim. 2:3-4) and, though a soldier enjoys rest and recuperation behind friendly lines occasionally, his business is on the field of battle, and he can be certain that it is to there he shall again return. The only reason that the Lord does not snatch us up to Heaven the moment we accept Christ is so that we might fulfill His calling in our lives: to get out His Word to others and share the Gospel Message with a lost and dying world.

A lot of Christians are basking in the sanctuary of Elim, enjoying the peace and prosperity of the Oasis so much that they are unwilling to go back out into the Wilderness. They somehow believe that God’s ultimate purpose for them is to live in luxury and soak up the comforts of this world. But if we are to stay in the will of God, we must be ready to follow the “Pillar” when It moves and go wherever the Holy Spirit is leading.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

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3 responses

  1. Thank you, Loren.

    Oh boy….

    “The Lord might bring us to Marah, but He does not leave us there. ”
    How have you spoken to my heart tonight!

    I feel like I used to live in Elim, then I woke up one day and found myself at Marah …. Do I want to live here? NO! Do I trust Him to take me pas this? Absolutely!

    When we face our various realities, the pain can be so overwhelming that we forget the whole ‘time and seasons’ story. We forget that He finishes what He starts. Sometimes we even forget that life was once better than what it is now.

    “But if we are to stay in the will of God, we must be ready to follow the “Pillar” when It moves and go wherever the Holy Spirit is leading.”
    And that is where the rubber meets the road! Sometimes we don’t feel like we’re ready, but HE says move, so move we must. To hang around after The Presence has left is akin to driving nails into our own coffin.

    Thanks for sharing what He placed on your heart, Loren. The bitten waters of Marah are nothing in comparison to what He has in store for you, for me, and for everyone who trusts and follows His direction.

    Blessings
    ann

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  2. Wow, Ann, you always give me so much to think about :)

    “To hang around after The Presence has left is akin to driving nails into our own coffin.”

    That line you wrote just really jumped out at me. Nothing is more tragic in the life of the Christian than to not follow His leading. How often do we go when He bids us stay, or stay when He bids us go? So many of our problems arise when we are out-of-step with our Lord!

    Thanks so much, Ann, again for sharing your insights. May we thank Him at Elim, trust Him at Marah, and follow Him always :)

    God bless you,

    Loren

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  3. This was just so good, Loren. (and thanks Ann, for your comment too!) I think for some time I thought there was something wrong if I wasn’t at Elim. Thought I must be doing something wrong. And others can certainly add to those thoughts when they try to tell you what you are doing wrong and what you should do to get to Elim. :) So thank you for this post that shows that it’s not where we are suppose to stay.

    It kind of reminds me of a vision a woman shared at church years ago. She said that she saw two ships. One was a cruise ship and Christians were getting on it. There was music and laughter, food and drink. The other ship was a ship of war. It had wounded on it that needed cared for and was taking more Christians on board to go into battle.

    God bless you as you serve Him today, Loren!

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