Apples of Gold

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The Lord shewed him a tree

‘And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters were made sweet.’

Exodus Chapter 15 Verse 25

I can imagine the joy, the melody and the volume of the songs that Moses and the children of Israel sang on the far banks of the Red Sea being carried back as far as Egypt. The Lord had provided a marvellous and wondrous deliverance for them from their enemies.

What were they expecting now as they started out on this new journey? I myself have an expectation today. Today I am happy to say that after a long time of vacancy we are inducting a new Pastor over us as a congregation here where I live.

Perhaps the thoughts going through my mind this morning are similar to those of the children of Israel so long before.
I have a prayerful and expectant hope for the new ministry. We have waited long for this and I have no doubt that it has made us more dependent upon the Lord as a result.
Will extraordinary blessings accompany the new ministry? Will revival once more visit our shores? It is my heart's desire.

Were the children of Israel expecting everything now to be wonderful? They had left behind the cruelty and bondage of Egypt. Surely things would be better now!
They had not travelled far, though, when they encountered the bitter waters of Marah! What a shock to the system this would have been. Where now was their song of praise?

Well do I remember the shock in my own soul when, having been saved by the grace of God I realized that sin was still present with me! What a bitter discovery!
But the Lord showed Moses a tree which when thrown into the waters made them sweet. Keep in mind that salvation in Christ is a lifetime experience. It is something that needs to be worked on every single day. It is true to say that once saved we are saved for all eternity, yet we are urged to make our calling and election sure.

Christ died once upon that tree for sinners, yet the application of His atonement must still be a daily occurrence for us. It is a lifetime of repentance and faith, of daily surrender and obedience.
There must be a daily striving after holiness, and this can only happen as we look to what happened on that tree.

Christ Jesus the Son of God dying for sinners.

A fountain was opened up for sin and uncleanness. It was not a stagnant pool where one dip was all that was required. Our sin requires cleansing and we are to rejoice that the salvation and cleansing is as efficacious and fresh for us today as it was when first we believed.
"Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more."

It was a time of testing yet a time also of learning for the children of Israel. Just because they were free from the bondage of the Egyptians did not mean that they could manage now on their own.
They had to realize their daily dependency upon the giver of every good and every perfect gift.
So it is also for us. Without God we can do nothing!

It is an easy statement to make yet not an easy lesson to learn in reality! His provision can never be measured. There is always an abundance of goodness from His hand.
Only one well may have been sufficient for this congregation, yet at Elim the Lord provided a well for each tribe. He also gave them shelter from the heat of the day under seventy palm trees.
The Lord's request for obedience came with a promise. They had witnessed the terrible plagues that the people of Egypt had suffered at His hand, and now He tells them if they are obedient to Him then none of these plagues will come upon them.

In mercy and in love He changed their situation from bitterness to sweetness, and He will do the same for us if we follow Him in obedience. He says, "Them that honour me, I will honour." And He also says, "I am the Lord that healeth thee."

I look forward to our new ministry, and I have a renewed desire to follow in obedience. We read that "The Lord added to His church daily, such as should be saved." I pray that will be our portion.

Author: Iain Mackenzie   Edited by : Pastor Al Moak