Exodus 15: 23 When they came to Marah; they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah. Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
I thank my God for his Word. We are strangers in this world and during our journey through this wilderness, there are times when we go weak and sometimes even utterly fall . But the only thing that makes us move forward is the Word of God. Our bank balance and influences will not support our journey to our home in heavenly places. In the Old Testament, the angels of God fed a few people who fainted during their journey to strengthen them to run the race. One of them was Elijah, who was fed with bread during the famine. He was fed when he hid himself to die…This bread in the New Testament is the Word of God, which feeds us not only when there is a great famine, but also when we give up! World and the leaders are after peace and signing peace treaties. But let me ask you, “ where is the peace is?” Bible says in Psalms 119:165,’Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. Who is having the great peace? It is the one who loves the Law of God.’ In another psalm, it says, ‘ you word is a lamp to my feet and light into my path.’ How can you walk in this sinful and dark world ? In earlier days, people used to fix special lamps close to knees, so that while they walked, they could see the next step. God wants you to fix his Word in your heart, and if we do that, the way ahead will be clear and safe. Wait on the Lord and his promises. He will change your Marah to Elim, the water of bitterness to springs of sweet water .Let this article of ‘The Living Rhema’ bring you peace and strength.
I always wonder about God’s ways of taking Israelites out of Egypt. It’s so much similar to what the New Testament church is going through. The crossing of the Red sea resembles water baptism. St. Paul wrote “. . . all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1, 2). As they crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites who already were redeemed by blood, left Egypt forever. They then took on a new life and a new leader. After crossing the Red sea, the Israelites were freed from the bondage, and pharaoh stopped following them. But on their journey to Canaan, they came to a place called Marah. The meaning of Marah is “bitterness”. After singing the song of salvation, they did not expect the waters of bitterness. Is there anyone who is into a wrong teaching that after you receive Jesus, there will be only blessings? And is there anyone who lifted up the cup of salvation initially, but now the experience of Marah (place of bitterness and trials) is making you wonder whether you took the right decision? There are two types of teachings in the world : 1) Prosperity Theology and 2) Poverty Theology. The earlier one speaks of only blessings, while the latter talks about only trials and tribulations . Both are wrong! And if anyone is one among them, let this message be an eye opener to you.
In John 16:33, Jesus said “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. In another passage he says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives”. Jesus said that there is tribulation in the world but the tribulation must not triumph over our faith, because Jesus has overcome the world and in the midst of the afflictions, there is calm assurance and peace, and heavenly blessings- this is Christian life. Psalms 23 teaches us the same thought. There is green pastures and still water, but also the valley of shadow of death. There are enemies who want to see your fall but there is also the oil of gladness that runeth over. Apostle Paul was a wealthy man but he says in his epistle that there were times when he did not have anything to cover himself from cold. Our God is not happy when he sees us afflicted, but he tests us so that we tune ourselves to the heavenly station. Psalms 119:71 says “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes”….We all had a shortage in our life and that’s how we came to the Lord. So just remember that, had there been no shortage, where would we be? The house of Cana had a shortage of wine, but at the end, God changed the shortage to fullness. Martha and Mary had a big issue, but Jesus appeared and solved their problem. So when we go through bitterness and afflictions, always expect the work of God. There are times when the devil will provoke you to go back and to give up. He often does that but if you choose to cling to Jesus and his promises, then you will see the Glory of God…See when the Devil tells you to give up, remember that you are half way to receive the blessings! Devil has realized that you are only a few meters away to receive the promises. So he will use every opportunity to refrain you from getting that….But stay there and tell him, “ I am not going to give up. My God has promised me and he will accomplish it.”
After singing the song of redemption, when the Israelites came to Marah, they grumbled before Moses because the water was bitter. Do you grumble in times of bitterness? Do you grumble when your situations are not working as you expected? Remember! When you grumble, you are no where, but if you praise God and be faithful in Marah, God will show you the way. The way ahead seemed to be difficult for Israelites. Do you find it difficult to move forward in your life? Is the bitterness blocking your faith? We can see the family of Naomi, who left Bethlehem when there was a great famine. They went to Moab and at the end, she faced lots of consequences because of that decision. She lost her husband and two children, and at the end she cries, (Ruth 1:21) ”I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty.” What does this show? The devil is a liar. He will tell you to give up, but his main aim is to trap you. Remain where God has planted you AND that affliction and that pain is only for bracket period. God is going to take you out as refined gold. Do not grumble, but be patient and look unto God. He has planted a tree beside this Marah. He has already provided you the way to be out of this pain. Open your eyes! Some flocks cannot see the provision of God, because they are busy in grumbling. Are you so busy that you can’t even see the provision of God? Do you know that God has already prepared a tree to take away that bitterness from the water? Do you know that God has already prepared a way for your future? He has already given you what he has promised. Now you need to seize it. And when Moses saw the tree, he cast it into the water of bitterness and that Marah changed into sweet water. Devil will try his best to hide the provision of God but let us not go astray. After Marah, the Lord took them to a place called Elim, a place of twelve springs. Right now you may be in bitterness, but God is going to change your Marah to Elim. He is going to change your bitterness to springs of sweet water. That bitter experience in Marah was just to show you the work of God and to strengthen your faith. It was to make us know that we are serving a God who can lead us to springs of water. Wait on the Lord .
God bless you!