In a footnote on Genesis I found the statement that Rabbi Cohen had commented on the Children of Israel leaving Egypt. He said that there were six “stations” from Egypt to Mount Sinai and six “stations” from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land. This interested me so I read the story of the journey of the Children of Israel. What a picture I found there!
First, in Numbers chapter thirty-three are listed the places the Children of Israel stayed during their travels. They stopped in forty places. Forty represents testing. Jesus stayed in the Wilderness for forty days and was tested by Satan. The Children of Israel were tested in the Wilderness for forty years. The forty camps are another indication of testing.
I do not know how Rabbi Cohen defines “stations”, but I found in the Exodus account that they camped six places and the encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai was the seventh. This is an obvious opportunity for a Menorah design. To be an authentic Menorah design there must be seven elements and the center, or Servant Lamp, position must refer to the Lord, His Throne, fire or light.
In the fourth position is the encampment at Marah, but before they camped they went through the Red Sea. During the travels of the Children of Israel they were led by a column of smoke by day and a column of fire by night. During the episode at the Red Sea this column provided light for the Israelites, and qualifies as the Servant Lamp for the Menorah design.
The Children of Israel had to travel for three days to reach Marah. This is a picture of the three millennial day journey they will make in search of the Messiah. See Hosea 6:2. Their trip was and will be bitter. That is the meaning of Marah (bitter or bitterness). When they arrived there they found that the water was bitter. They could not drink the water and complained of their thirst to the Lord and Moses. Jesus said, “If any man thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37) Earlier, Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “Whoever drinks of the water I give him will never thirst.” (John 4:14) Interestingly, Jesus stayed with the gentile Samaritans for two (millennial) days. (John 4:40)
So the Children of Israel were thirsty and complaining. The water was bitter. “Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it in the water and the water became sweet.” (Exodus 15:25) The Lord did not provide an herb, or a bush, or a tree, but a “piece of wood”. This piece of wood is suggestive of the Cross. The journey of the Children of Israel will be made sweet by the Cross, and they will thirst no more. This is, of course, still a future event.
This part of the journey ended at Mount Sinai where the Lord gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Here the Children of Israel rested. It is a picture of the Sabbatical rest. There are many more foreshadows in just this small part of the travels of the Children of Israel to the Promised Land. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:10) The Lord has told us the end from the beginning. It is all in His Word. “Seek and ye shall find.” Glory to His Name!