Monday, August 29, 2016

Here Today, Gone to “Marah”

By Sam Nobles
Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you." (Exodus 15:23-26 NKJV)

When Israel came to this pool they couldn’t drink of the waters; therefore, they called Marah, which means bitter. The same thing happens to us. We come to our own “Marah”—a situation, a relationship, an occupation, or even a ministry we think will be cool and refreshing – only to find it bitter, not what we thought it would be. Why did the Lord choose Marah as the first stop for His people after Egypt? I believe it was to teach us at least three lessons…
If you were living on an island in Hawaii, being waited on hand and foot under swaying palm trees and setting sun with no money problems, no physical pain, no marital stress, no child-rearing difficulties, you would probably want the Lord to hold off on His return for a little while longer. I am convinced that hard times will never come to an end because God knows they’re the only way we’ll long for heaven and fix our eyes on eternity. I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t talk about heaven while sitting on the beach, overlooking the ocean. He talked about heaven in the same passage where He told His disciples that one of them would betray Him, one of them would deny Him, and He Himself would die (John 13-14).
Although the Bible said that Israel murmured against Moses, in reality, they were murmuring against God for bringing them to Marah in the first place. Sadly enough, the same is true of me and you. You will never know what’s in your heart until you dive into something, expecting one thing and find out it isn’t what you thought it would be. People and situations are not the cause of your bitterness; they simply reveal what was already within. I know this because, looking at Jesus, I see that, although He was spat upon, cursed at, and nailed to a cross, He said, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34). No bitterness came out of Jesus because there was no bitterness within Him to start with.
When did the bitter water become sweet? The water became sweet when the tree was placed in it its midst. Likewise, the bitterness that we’ve experienced in life can only be made sweet when the tree of the Cross is placed in its midst. “But what she did to me was awful,” you say. “What he said about me was unforgivable,” you say. “How they hurt me was incomprehensible,” you proclaim. I know your hurt is real, but so is the forgiveness and love of God. The Cross enables me to realize that not only are my sins washed away, but that the one who hurt me, who abandoned me, who disappointed me is forgiven as well by the same blood that cleanses me. Place the tree of the Cross of Calvary in the midst of your bitterness, and drink deeply of sweet water once again and receive healing in your mind, emotions, and body.

Scripture to Claim:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV)

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