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…
We have here a parable of the deep things of Christ.
I. Israel was in those days FRESH FROM THE GLORIOUS DELIVERANCE OUT OF EGYPT; they had sung their first national song of victory; they had breathed the air of liberty. This was their first disappointment, and it was a very sharp one; from the height of exultation they fell almost at once to the depths of despair. Such disappointments we have all experienced, especially in the outset of our actual march, after the first conscious sense of spiritual triumph and freedom.
II. Of us also it is true that GOD HATH SHOWED US A CERTAIN TREE, and that tree is the once accursed tree on which Christ died. This is the tree of life to us, though of death to Him.
III. IT WAS GOD WHO SHOWED THIS TREE UNTO MOSES. And it was God who showed it to us in the gospel. Applied by our faith to the bitter waters of disappointment and distress, it will surely heal them and make them sweet. Two things there are about the tree of scorn which will never lose their healing power — the lesson of the Cross and the consolation of the Cross; the example and the companionship of Christ crucified.
IV. THE LIFE WHICH FOUND ITS FITTING CLOSE UPON THE CROSS WAS NOT A LIFE OF SUFFERING ONLY, BUT EMPHATICALLY A LIFE OF DISAPPOINTMENT. Here there is comfort for us. Our dying Lord must certainly have reflected that He, the Son of God, was leaving the world rather worse than He found it in all human appearance.
V. WHATEVER OUR TRIALS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS, LET US USE THIS REMEDY; it will not fail us even at the worst.
(R. Winterbotham, M. 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.