My Marah

I think I may have mentioned that I’ve given up on ‘My Utmost for His Highest’.  I was going to TRY to read it everyday as a New Year’s Resolution, but I was so frustrated with it that I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I want Truth, not some pretzeled up mess of thought that seemed true at one moment and smacked of untruth strongly the next.  I don’t have time at this point in my life for that.  Maybe later, when I don’t have (almost four) kids and home-ed and home and hearth and TorahClass and more to occupy me.

So I swapped out MUfHH for Wondering04’s blog.  Y’see, I love Heather’s (okay, Pastor Don’s) lessons, and learn SO MUCH from them, that I’ve taken to clipping bits and pasting them into Word, and then printing the bits out and taping them inside my Bible.  ((Which I’m sure some people consider defecation of the Word, but I don’t see paper and ink as the Word, but rather the vehicle for the Word to be presented… as are the clippings that I tape to the paper.  To each their own, I guess.  My Bible is also MASSIVELY marked up.))  Anyhow, Heather’s blogs have been a bit of a problem, because they are SO. LONG. I can’t even begin to tell you.  And when I read SIR (aka ‘MySubscriptions’, ala Xanga-does MySpace), I just ended up skipping Heather’s ‘for later’… and then later never came around.

Anyhow… (really, really long story short)… I’m catching up slowly but surely.  And getting a LOT of good stuff out of her studies. (((HIGHLY recommend her site, btw.)))  And one of the things that hit me strongly was a thing she did on the seven stops of Israel during the Exodus.  First thought being, “Kewl – SEVEN stops.  SEVEN being the number of fullness, and you know my thing with numbers.

But as she went into it, I started seeing some other things, too.  First, we started with Israel in EGYPT, where they were slaves for 400 years – exactly the amount of time God promised to let them remain in Egypt in earlier prophecies, btw.  In case you didn’t know, Egypt is symbolic of sin.  It was the ‘world’ of that time… in the sense of materialism, false gods, distractions, power, wealth, and so on.  It’s not mere irony that Israel was ‘enslaved’ in ‘sin’.  And of course, God promised to deliver Israel OUT of Egypt, as He’s promised to deliver His chosen ones out of sin.

The first stop Israel made after Moses n’ the 12 plagues and they all left Egypt was in SUKKOTH.  Sukkoth means ‘dwelling with God’, and is the word for the last of the feasts (if you wondered where you’d heard it before).  God came down and entered both the first and second temples ON Sukkoth.  I believe Jesus was born ON Sukkoth.  I also believe He was baptized ON Sukkoth (God descended to Earth in the form of a dove on that occasion).   When we come out of sin, we find ourselves in the presence of God.

The next stop for Israel was ETHAM… which means ‘a desert place’.  When Jesus was baptized (and God descended upon Him), He immediately went out into the desert and endured testing.  And how often, after we have an incredible experience with God, do we find ourselves being tested or in a difficult situation?  It’s as if the Lord wants to ‘choke off’ those that are insincere right away, and not waste time on them or something.  Either that or He wants to ‘jolt’ them into growth with something that spurs immediate action.  I’ve heard it described both ways, and it seems like they’re half full-half empty explanations of the same glass, so to speak.

After Etham, the people traveled towards the Red Sea, and came to a place where they were wedged in… between PI HAHIROTH and BAAL ZEPHON.  Pi Harorth means both ‘mount of caves’ and ‘place of liberty’, and Baal Zephon means “God’s Judgment” or “North Fortress”.  So Israel found itself in a place with God’s judgment on one side and their ‘liberty’ on the other side.  Between a “rock and a hard place” as Heather’s notes said.  ((I liked that.))  Leaving Egypt (sin) doesn’t guarantee our walk will forever be with God… we can return to that place again… and if you remember, the Israelites REALLY wanted to, after 40 years in the desert.  We can always choose our liberty… just as we must continue to choose to remain in the ‘mighty fortress’ that is our God. ((Anna breaks into song… a bulwark never fa-a-aaai-ling.))  I digress.

Israel was delivered from Pharoah when the sea parted for Moses and fell in on the Egyptian army, and after that they came to their fourth stop  ((Four being the number of trial or fire (or trial BY fire, for that matter.)))… and the fourth stop was SHUR, which means “a wall”.  As Heather’s site said:  “It’s as if we come up against a brick wall.SHUR means wall. How many times have we been given our freedom and then feel like we run up against a wall?”  And if you think about it, after the deliverance and miraculous parting of the water, the Israelites looked out on the wilderness in front of them and thought… “ohmigosh, what NOW?  What do we do now?  Which way do we go?  What about food – there are MILLIONS of us (literally), and… their minds must’ve been so overwhelmed, they drew a big blank as they rested at ‘a wall’.  Kinda kewl, all of this symbolism and imagery, isn’t it?  And what about us?  When we choose God over ourselves… what is our call?  What are we supposed to do?  And how do we know if it’s what God wants for us, or not?  We draw a blank, and come up against a wall of … overwhemation.  ((Is that a word?  It oughta be.))

After they left Shur, the Israelites came to a place called MARAH.  Marah (which is the root of Mary) means ‘Bitterness’.  Not to keep quoting Wondering04, but… “We, in our walk through life come to our own places of Marah, relationships, job, people, past, memories become bitter, and we become disappointed.”  It’s not that WE’RE bitter… it’s that the situations, the relationships, the circumstances we find ourselves in become bitter… distasteful.  Those people, those things we were part of… we’re just not THERE anymore.  We’ve moved on, we’re in a new place, and those places and people are dragging us back, and down.  But how do you let go of them?  You don’t want to hurt people, and you know that you have a duty to be a witness in all situations and circumstances and to all people… but it’s just NOT working.  Do you know what I mean?

That’s where I am right now.  ((Me, Anna.))  I’m stuck with people (mostly) dragging me down.  I don’t know HOW to end the relationships, and as I was reading Heather’s post(s) about these places… I got to thinking.  GOD delivered Israel.  They did a whole lotta nothing (outside of complaining and freaking out).  Salvation comes by God… we’re all good with that, but somehow we think WE have to do something about relationships, situations, and circumstances.  And while I do agree that we need to *do* something, we also have to remember that there are times when we come to the end of ourselves and we just CAN’T do whatever it is that needs to be done.  And that’s when we have to rest in God and allow HIM to provide the deliverance.  When the Israelites came up against the Red Sea, they were literally at the end of themselves.  They couldn’t go further… but God provided deliverance.  So when they finally got thru and past their ‘wall’ of an overwhelming future that seemed unfathomable… they needed to just rest in God and realize that if He can deliver them from Egypt/Sin, then He could deliver them from any circumstance in their lives ahead, too.  Via manna, pheasants, clothes that didn’t wear out for FORTY years… and more!

So I’m trying to rest right now.  Because I’m in Marah.  I’ve come to the end of myself, and I don’t know what to do to get away from the people in my life that are dragging me backwards and down.  I know only ONE thing – and that’s that I need separation.  Just like Abraham had to separate from his family in order to be used of God.  Jacob was separated from his family, Moses was separated from his family, Jonah, Elijah, David, Ruth, Esther… every single instance of someone being used by God contains separation from family.  I know this.  And I know at this point that I CANNOT do it.  I can’t.  But should God deliver me into circumstances where I could, I most certainly would be obedient.  The problem is that I’m not AT that point.  And I don’t know if or when that point might ever come.  I just… don’t know.  And resting is NOT my forte.  And I’m not really terribly kewl with being stuck on number six… which is the stumbling number of fallen man.

Not when there’s stop number seven ahead of me.  The last of the Seven stops Heather wrote about was ELIM, which means Mighty Ones.  “It was a place of abundance, an oasis of refreshment. There were 12 wells (could that be a reference to the 12 apostles, the 12 tribes?) They went from no water to an abundance of Water. God is waiting to pour out his blessings on the people when they come to Him.”  So I’m trying to wait on the Lord… because if I have faith in His will for my life, I might just live to find Elim… refreshment.  Twelve being the number of totality.

EGYPT  SUKKOTH  ETHAM  PI HAHIROTH/BAAL ZEPHON  SHUR  MARAH  ELIM
Sin  Salvation Trials/Testing  Choosing God/World  Finding the Way Separation  Refreshment

I don’t know… what do you think?

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