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"for salvation unto the ends of the earth." For, as Christ went before the Israelites "in a pillar of cloud," and " in a pillar of fire," so the Prophet says of Him, in a figurative sense, "The Lord will create upon every dwellingplace of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night."
When "Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, they went out into the wilderness of Shur and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water; and when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drinki?"
Thus the children of Israel were in that state which Isaiah describes in a figurative sense, "when the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth them for thirst." And of persons so situated, it is said, "I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the vallies; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." This promise refers to the
Isaiah, xlix. 6; xlii. 6.
Luke, ii. 32.
opening "the foun
¡ Exod. xv. 22-24.
Isaiah, xli. 17, 18.
tain of living waters 1" in the spiritual wilderness, when he "that is athirst" shall be given " of the fountain of the water of life freely "." So, when the Israelites were afterward without water in the wilderness, and Moses smote the rock" and "water came out abundantly," and "he brought streams out of the rocks, and caused waters to run down as rivers," " that Rock was Christ P," He is "the Rock of salvation," who was "smitten of GOD!," that we might drink of the "well of water springing up into everlasting life." The water which was furnished to the Israelites, was, then, a figure of the "living water" which we derive from Christ; had not the Rock supplied them with water, they would have perished; and man would have perished had not that Rock Christ supplied him with "the water of life." The Israelites would have perished in the commencement of their pilgrimage had not the Lord furnished means for rendering the bitter waters of Marah sweet; and man, at the outset of his pilgrimage, would perish, if the bitter water of God's wrath were
not rendered sweet by the passion and mediation of Christ; for "the water of gall” would be his portion had not Christ established for him His covenant of salvation. How, then, was the distress of the Israelites remedied? The Lord showed Moses "a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet*." And man finds the water of gall (that "bitter water that causeth the curse") made sweet by "the Tree of life," which, in the place of that "bitter water," has substituted the " pure river of water of life"."
The Israelites, during their abode in the wilderness", were supplied with bread from heaven; the Lord sent them "manna," and Moses said, "This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat." The Israelites, says St. Paul, "did all eat the same spiritual meat '.' Christ said, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven; for the bread of GOD is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world";""I am that bread of life; your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead; this is the bread which cometh down
t Exod. xv. 25.
* Elisha also healed the waters of Jericho 1.
1 2 Kings, ii. 21, 22.
See SECT. III. note.
u Rev. xxii. 1.
* Exod. xvi. 35.
w Exod. xvi. 14, 15. Joshua, y 1 Cor. x. 3.
from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." So, when Christ at the last supper took the bread, and brake it, He said, "Take, eat; this is my body b." The manna, then, which the Israelites ate, was
spiritual food," representing the body of Christ which was given for the spiritual and eternal life of mankind.
Thus the Israelites in the wilderness, after having been baptized in the Red Sea, partook constantly of the symbol of Christ's incarnation and passion; they "did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ d." Theirs was a perpetual feast of the Lord's supper, by which they showed the Lord's death till He came. Thus baptism, the figure of regeneration, and the Lord's supper, the symbol of Christ's incarnation and passion; those holy ordinances of the Christian faith; were duly observed by the Israelites under Moses. Christianity has ever been the religion of the people of God; and the children of Israel were set
a John, vi. 48–51.
b Matt. xxvi. 26.
s 1 Cor. x. 2.
d 1 Cor. x. 3, 4.
e 1 Cor. xi. 26.
apart solely and entirely for the purpose of illustrating this stupendous and universal scheme, which embraces all ages and all space.
"Then came Amalek and fought with Israelf,” “ and Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." Joshua is the same name as Jesus, and by this latter name is Joshua spoken of in the New Testament; these names signify Saviour. As the Israelites were exposed to attacks from temporal enemies, so are we, during our pilgrimage, exposed to attacks from spiritual enemies; “we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” “but against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness;" "our adversary the devil walketh about seeking whom he may devour" And we have a Saviour, a Jesus, to 66 save us from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us1." Jesus smiteth with a sharp sword", with the sword of his mouth", with "the sword of the Spirit which is the word of GOD;"" the word of GOD," says the Apostle, “abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." The spiritual Amalek is defeated by the sharp sword of the Gospel of our Joshua.
f Exod. xvii. 8.
Exod. xvii. 13.
h Acts, vii. 45. Hebr. iv. 8.
i Eph. vi. 12.
1 Peter, v. 8.
Luke, i. 71.
m Rev. xix. 15, 21; i. 16. n Rev. ii. 16.
Eph. vi. 17. Hebr. iv. 12.
P 1 John, ii. 14.