So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness…
I. THAT THE FIRST DAY'S JOURNEY, in spite of the splendid scenery of the coasts of the gulf, is PROBABLY THE MOST WEARISOME AND MONOTONOUS OF THE WHOLE WAY. Sand-storms, white limestone plains, the dust caked into a hard surface intensely hot and dazzling, no water, no trees — it is as if the desert put on its dreariest dress to greet its pilgrims, and gave to them at once a full taste of the foils and wants which they must endure in traversing its wastes. And is it otherwise in life? Is not the same character impressed for us on earth and life, when we enter on its sterner era, when we leave the home of our childhood, the Egypt of our careless, half-developed youth, and go out into the wilderness, to wander freely there under the law of duty, and before the face of God. Does it not seem to all of us strange and dreary? Who ever found the first aspects of duty pleasant? Is it holiday pastime, the first grappling with the realities of life? Who has not been choked and parched by the hot dust of the great desert! though it be full of looms, and mill-wheels, and manifold activity, it is a desert at first to us before we get accustomed to its atmosphere and at home in its life. Well does the schoolboy know it, as he plods into the wilderness of study, and faints under the first experience of its dryness and dust. Let him but hold on awhile, and lie will find springs and palm-trees, where he may rest and play; but it wants large faith and a goad of sharp necessity to get him through the weariness of those first days. God does not conceal from any one of us the stern conditions of our discipline.
II. It is a trite saying, THAT DISAPPOINTMENT IS THE HARDEST OF ALL THINGS TO BEAR. Hardest, because it finds the soul unbraced to meet it — relaxed, at ease, and tuned to indulgence and joy. Who has not muttered "Marah" over some well in the desert, which he strained himself to reach and found to be bitterness? It strikes me that we have, in this miracle, most important suggestions as to the philosophy of all miracles. I believe that the object of all miracles is to maintain, and not to violate — to reveal, and not to confound — the order of God's world.
(J. B. Brown, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.