*They murmured and complained, spoke against Moses and God, “No food; no water. And we hate this worthless bread!”
*God tired of their moanings and sent fiery serpents to bit and kill the groaners.
*They ran to Moses and repented, begging him to pray God to take remove the serpents. And Moses did.
*God commanded Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole so those bitten (who had not died) could look on it and be healed.
*Next, they moved on to Oboth (meaning waterskins); then to Ije Abarim (ruins of the passers or Abarim); then pitched their tents in the Valley of Zered/Zared (osier [a type of tree] brook, exuberant in growth, lined with shrubbery); then they travelled to Arnon (rushing stream). Their next stop… “From there they went to Beer, which is the well where the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather the people together, and I will give them water.’ Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it — The well the leaders sank, dug by the nation’s nobles, by the lawgiver, with their staves.’ And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah.” (Num. 21:16-18 NKJV) Beer: pronounced Be-ayr, an oasis rest, a well.
Well: a pit, a spring.
Sang: to sing, with the idea of strolling minstrels
Spring up: to ascend, rise up.
Sing: to eye or to heed or pay attention, to respond, to begin to speak, specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce. Leaders: a person of any rank or class, ruler, chief, commander.
Sank: to pry into, to delve, to explore, to search for. (In most translations, digged is used in place of sank. However, it is incorrectly translated.)
Dug: to dig through, to plot, to bore or open, to excavate.
Nobles: inclined, generous, noble, princely. Staves: support of every kind, sustenance, a walking stick.
Wilderness: pasture, tracts of land, used for the pasturage of flocks and herds, can imply desert, also means mouth and speech.
Mattanah: a gift of Jehovah, from a word meaning a present, a sacrificial offering. God commanded Moses to gather the people together and He would give them water. In repentance, faith, and obedience to God’s commands, the Israelites dug deep beneath the surface, where water ran out of sight, where the river of blessing flowed. They reached it by songs of praise. Their complaints brought poison…venomous snakes with bites of death, but their singing brought overflowing water…the refreshment of life. Time to stop and ponder the significance. When we repent of our murmuring and complaining, the Lord will lead us to our Beer. (Okay, no snickering!) Our place of rest, our oasis in the wilderness. In our faith and obedience to God’s commands, with songs of praise, we, too, will find that flowing stream, gurgling deep beneath the surface of our most arid circumstances, trials, and heartaches. And we will go on to our Mattanah, our gift of Jehovah. Will He not bring us to the place where we can say, “He restores my soul.” (Ps. 23:3 NKJV) Dig deep with your praise to touch upon those rushing waters of life and blessing, for in those wilderness depths of circumstance, you will find that flowing tide. As God said, “I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” (Is. 43:20b-21 NKJV) Are you in a wilderness place? Are you singing for the water of life?