Gene Ort's Blog

The Road to Marah, Rephidim and The Wilderness of Sin

by on Mar.22, 2010, under Egypt

Quiz: What chaps your lips, makes your sinuses bleed and makes you squint?  Blowing sand and 0% humidity at 90 + degrees!

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Not to far outside Cairo, the green is gone.. this is the view.  Imagine nearly 2 million people with a bunch of animals and  thousands of tons of stuff wandering to who knows where in this. And this is the easy part.

You can hear  “are we there yet ” ?  The wind picked up.. and before long, we were in a full fledged sand storm.

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We arrived at Marah, the place where Moses stopped for water.

Exodus 15:23  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.

The Bedouin people had little “shops” near the wells.  They sold jewelry and scarves.

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One of the wells that Moses dug is visible in the center of the picture. The red sea is barely visible in the distance.

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The sand storm died down and this was the view for hours. It’s amazing to think of the living conditions the Israelites endured. This is truly a brutal wilderness.

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Next stop, Rephidim.

Exodus 17: 8   “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. ”

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Men, even the most powerful leaders need help. No one can truly succeed alone. God gave Moses a graphic lesson on this right here at Rephidim. God could have given Moses super human strength to hold up the staff all day by himself but He didn’t. Instead Moses had to call on Aaron and Hur for help. Aaron was his brother. Family. Hur was no doubt a trusted servant. Joshua was down in the trenches doing battle and completely dependent on Moses holding up his arms. Everybody in this scenario was dependent on God. Every step of the way, God was teaching all of them, all the time just as He is teaching us today if we are willing to listen.

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An extraordinary man.  Dan Blacketor. Everywhere Dan goes, the children are soon to follow. The Bedouin children are no different. Dan has a heart for children. He knows it, the children know it. It’s his love for God and children that drives his ministry. Dan is the director of  The Rhema Project, a ministry that is working toward the goal of stopping female infanticide in India. He is their champion!

Like Moses, Dan knows he needs good men and women around him to help him succeed in the calling God has put on his life.

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With the victory of Rephidim behind, you would think the road to the promised land would have gotten easier. Not a chance, there was plenty of the wilderness of sin still ahead. The road to Mount Sinai, God’s mountain was some of the most difficult terrain I have ever seen. Following God is not always, if ever easy.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Leah

    great pictures. It’s nice to put a visual to what I have read so many times.

  • Dan Clark

    Gene,
    Very powerful! Seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of the guys, makes the Old Testament stories come to life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts & pictures.
    Dan

  • Carolyn Burger

    Thanks Gene, I just finished reading this again, really awesome to see these pictures. I can’t imagine walking through this desert. Wow!

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