From bitter to better
There is a song in my language which goes “ kiriro ni kia utuku rukiri gugakia ungi” this means mourning may remain for a night but the morning might be otherwise. This song is drawn from Psalms 30:5 “weeping may remain for a night; but joy comes in the morning”.
When God led the people of Israel from Egypt to Canaan He did it in different stages. Their journey teaches us important lessons we need to learn in our walks too. In Exodus 15:22-27 we see God delivering the people of Israel from the red sea and leading them to the desert of Shur. They travelled in the desert for three days and could not find water and finally reaches Marah, a spring, but unfortunately the water was very bitter and hence the name Marah.
If you read the previous chapters, we see that the place of Marah came into the picture immediately after the victory and miracle at the red sea. During that victory, we see the people dancing with joy and praising God and in three days time, when they could not find water that is safe to drink, they started grumbling. That shows our human nature. It can happen in our lives too. One day you experience the deliverance from God and enjoy His mighty hand leading you through impossibilities and you do everything to praise and worship him, but another day, you feel all dried up, energy lost, wandering in the wilderness. At such places of Marah, you feel the bitterness of life. There you see life becoming unproductive. It is definitely a place of testing and God expects you to be far from murmuring.
The solution for Marah was right in front of Israelites. It just did not pop up from nowhere. The tree was already there right at the time they came to Marah. If only they did not murmur and asked Lord to show them once again His hand of miracles which they experienced couple of days back… Instead they grumbled before God. The stops at Marah can happen in our lives too, but be far from grumbling and ask God to lead you to the tree…..the cross. Jesus at the cross is the only solution for the bitterness in your life. He alone can change the flavors of your life and make it sweet, not only to you but for others too.
In verse 26 we read, “There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” “
Once they overcame the testing at Marah, they were led to a place called Elim which is a place of abundance. We read in verse 27 that there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees in Elim. It is a place of fruitfulness, advancement, progress and fulfillment. But the place of Elim was reached after the bitterness of Marah was solved and sweetness was added. Till then they remained at the place of Marah. Elim is ahead of us, but we need to take away the bitterness from our lives through Jesus and His cross.
Comforting thought for the week.
You may be at Marah today. The solution is right in front of you. Go to the cross. God can transform your bitterness and make you sweet. Murmuring at such places can take away your joy and make you static in life. You feel that there is no way of advancement in your life. But when you are healed by the cross, you are led to a place of abundance…Elim. There you experience everything in abundance. Remember our journey through the wilderness will definitely involve places of Marah, but at the same time, He can lead us to Elim