After the LORD through Moses delivered the children of Israel from bondage, judged the gods of Egypt, showed Himself strong in their midst and miraculously split the Red Sea, in Exodus 15 they sang unto the LORD, the song of Moses and the children of Israel, with Miriam the prophetess and the ladies dancing before Him. As they then trekked to Sinai, the LORD tested them 5 times and revealed what He was like to them. They'd heard of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but in all that time under bondage they did not know what He was like.
-First, He tested them after a three days trek where there wasn't water and they finally found water but it was bitter. Moses cried to the Lord and the Lord turned the bitter water sweet. He revealed Himself as YHWH Rapha, the LORD our Healer who would not put the diseases of Egypt on them if they would give heed to His voice.
-They then camped out at Elim with 12 springs of water and seventy date trees in the second month. They wanted the meat and bread they got back in Egypt. And here the Lord tested them on whether they would follow His instruction on the bread from heaven He would rain down in the morning. They ended up calling the bread manna.
-He also provided meat in the evening as quail would cover the land and Moses told them not to leave any of it until morning. They didn't listen and it rotted.
Both of these were manifestations of how He had previously revealed Himself to Abraham as YHWH Jireh - the Lord will see to it, the Lord My Provider.
-Then the Lord revealed the Sabbath to them as a day of rest, providing twice as much they needed on the sixth day so they could rest on the seventh.
-Then they journeyed onward and quarreled with Moses about not having water to drink. The Lord then commanded Moses to strike the rock and water came forth from the Rock. Though the place was named Rephidim, resting place, Moses called the place Massah and Meribah, meaning test and quarrel because they tested the LORD there. (But the LORD was actually testing them).
After this, enemies came against them and Moses called Joshua to lead men to fight against them. Joshua was a fighter all long :) As Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands, Joshua was victorious. Moses built an altar here and the LORD revealed Himself as YHWH Nissi - The LORD is My Banner. He is our victory.
The LORD tested them 5 times before they got to Sinai and He revealed Himself through it all continually, in such mighty ways after He brought them out of bondage with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, it was sad that when the time did come for them to enter into their promises, they still would not believe.
May we all learn from these things in how they might apply to our lives now and enter into all the Father has for us.
The Holy Spirit testifies through the Psalmist "Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest." - Psalm 95:7b-11
Passover/Unleavened Bread and First Fruits and in NT, the time of Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus was in the first month of spring, Aviv/Abib/Nisan. What they ended up naming Iyar, the second month was a transitional time from out of bondage to Sinai as they counted the 49 days to Pentecost, the 50th day. (Pentecost took place in the third month, Sivan when they got the 10 commandments, entered into covenant and Pentecost was the wheat harvest/in the NT, the outpouring and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.) Just as we are in the same times as these right after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, these are wonderful times to reflect on these things. These things from the second month are found in Exodus 15-18. (And In Ch. 18, Jethro counsels Moses).
(A big thank you to Rachael Wilkins, Debra Taylor and Laura Judah for your insights that helped to shape this, as I have looked into this more myself.) They have some good things going on with the Signs & Seasons group.
The Lord bless you all and grant you His rest.