And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. Exodus 16: 1
Using Elim as a type of the local church, I see God's true Israel embark on a journey that will be repeated in their experience time and again. The believer's life is a journey. It begins to be seen at his conversion and then made known to him over and over every step of the way. What I see in Israel's journey to Sinai is the believer's experience of grace as it is brought to him on a continual basis until he reaches his promised destination. This type fits his first revelation of grace and fits all that will yet come his way. Many professing Christians look at the believer's experience in parts. They see a convincing of sin and then a convincing of righteousness and then a convincing of judgment satisfied. Now, having experienced these things he moves on to other things such as how to live, conduct himself in the world, duties to his wife and children, and so on. He says concerning the cross "I get it, now lets move on to other things" This is not how the believer's life is typified by Israel and it is not the experience recorded by the New Testament apostles and the saints they ministered too. The believer's experience of grace and the ministry of the Holy Ghost to him involves a continual journey from Elim to Sinai. It begins with a thirsty sinner being led to drink from the deep wells of Elim. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is in these assemblies where the water of Christ is dispensed to Jacob's chosen sons. His churches are raised up and carefully placed where his wandering children can benefit by them. >>>>>>>>>> Having tasted of the good waters of Elim they are now led to experience a wilderness of sin. Sin in them and sin around them. God will have the believer to fully experience and know this wilderness. He leaves him to sleep in it, wake in it, walk in it, and live in it. This wilderness experience is to teach him that salvation is of the Lord. This world has nothing to contribute to the salvation of God's elect except such things God has placed in it for a means to that end. This wilderness experience is to lead him to Sinai. It was out of the wilderness of sin that Israel was brought to receive God's law. It is out of the spiritual wilderness of our old nature that the apostle Paul brings us, in Romans 3, to see the law. The law, received in the light of a fallen nature is to shut us up to the sovereign grace we tasted back in Elim. It is to shut our mouths and take away our excuses and cause us to look to the mercy and grace of God in Christ. It is to this end that each time we hear his gospel we are led down this path. It is the believers constant and continual experience. This, I believe, might be a good commentary on Romans 8:1; "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Everything else the believer is taught is taught in the light of this experience. Duties, ordinances, and service are all born along this journey. God help us to see it, taste it, and profit by it and give him all the glory for it. - Darvin Pruitt
Darvin Pruitt is pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Highway 82, Lewisville, Arkansas. You may contact him by writing to P. O. Box 328, Taylor Arkansas 71861, by...