Up the Creek…

There are so many fascinating stories in scripture, but we so often quickly gloss over them and forget to stop and to examine them closely, so let us pick on this story.  Exodus 15:22-24 “So Moses brought Israel [away] 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.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.  And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”  To recap, Israel has only just Exodused Egypt, the Red Sea victory is now only three days behind them, water supplies are dangerously low, celebration, ‘Water,’ but this is “Marah,” very bitter, sets your teeth on edge and your stomach is about to spew it out, it is that bad and undrinkable, made you feel like you were about to die.  Israel is most certainly ‘Up a creek without a Paddle,’ and water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.

Israel is unable to press forwards, there was little chance of water out there, how many more days will it take to get to any if we move forwards, is it much or just a damp patch on the ground, could we even get any further forwards, unknown?  Well let us retrace our steps and go back, for we are currently out of water, but then the Red Sea is still three long days away without water, the sea is far too wide to swim over, the tidal currents are not good, and then that is Egyptian Territory on that side, and water is not plentiful over there either.  Return is not a viable option, we are “Up a creek without a Paddle,” one is doomed, apart from a miracle, death is now knocking at the door.  Well, if one could somehow get back the three days travel and return to the sea, the only option is to let us march northwards along this side of the sea shore to Eilat at the head of the bay.  But that is many days of hard march and food is negligible, and water is not likely at all, plenty of salty sea water, but nothing drinkable, ‘Up a Creek.’  Genesis 4:7a “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”  Israel was most definitely, “Up a creek without a paddle,” with ‘sin lieth at the door,’ and once more complaining bitterly and Moses was in direct attack, God who had redeemed them with a strong arm, had conquered impossibilities, was instantly forgotten, in just a few short days, songs of deliverance were now shouts of accusation and harm, oh how so very quickly we sing from one song book, and switch instantly to another.

What do you and I do when we are ‘Up a Creek without a Paddle?’  How fast do we fling ourselves into God’s lap and hold on fast, asking for God to lead, to show us the pathway forwards, your name to be exalted, may your name be up lifted, may all see the mighty power of the God we serve, Psalm 46:1 “God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  We often see people, and can be one of them ourselves, and God gets all the blame and the ‘Bad Press,’ it is all God’s fault, when God is saying for us to get up off the ground, that temper tantrum is only wasting precious time and energy, this is a day of victory, a day for the eyes to see the grandeur and victory in Jesus, Martha had trouble seeing a way forwards, she was ‘Up a Creek,’ my brother stinketh, “Lazarus come Forth,” do we look with “Physical Eyes,” or with “Spiritual Eyes,” what great things our God has for us, right there, when we see nothing, God has a way.  Quote; “Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.  The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today. {LHU 219} 

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”  Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”   Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What can separate you from God? A Little ‘Marah,’ some pesky trouble or trial, what gets in between you and your God?  Romans Chapter 8, gives us life in a nutshell, and then finishes with a list of “Nothings,” that can ever separate us from God, but we so often ‘Major in Minors,’ make mountains out of molehills, accentuate the negatives, when a Thus saith the Lord, get up from hence, go forth, Hosea 6:1 “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” When you get to the end of the road, just select 4WD, into Low Range, make tracks and head out into the unknown with God, who needs a paddle when you are following God’s direction?  Israel at marah were moments away from the bitter turning to sweet, soon to experience rivers flowing from the dry rocks in a dry and desert land were just ahead, maybe the next time you are, ‘Up the Creek,’ it is time to come ashore, seek God’s face, renew your strength, praise and worship him for bringing you safe thus far, please lead me forwards, maybe it is time to ditch the canoe and to march overland forwards with you hand firmly grasping God’s Hand, and forget all about the creek.