Before we jump into today’s blog, I just wanted to take a quick second to thank you for being a reader. Whether this is the first blog you have read or even if you’re a frequent guest. My prayer is that as we dig into God’s Word, you will be inspired, challenged & provoked to become all that God has called you to be. You’re time is precious and I don’t want to waste it.
So let’s jump right in. Today we’re going to finish the conversation that we started in my last blog A Bitter Taste. Feel free to take time to read or re-read that one before continuing with this one. We’ve all had bitter experiences in life. It doesn’t matter how young, how old, your ethnicity, how long you’ve been saved…if you’re a living, breathing human…then chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’re not the only ones who have had bitter experiences…we went through a whole list of people in the Bible in the last blog of many who became bitter.
Today, I want to give you a picture in the Bible where God turned a bitter experience into sweet victory. I want to leave you encouraged today. Maybe you find yourself in a bitter situation today. It could be a financial situation (bills to pay, a shut off noticed just came in the mail, etc.), a relationship (with a spouse, a loved one, your children, etc.) or maybe you’re surrounded by negativity (criticism, people or maybe the devil’s been trying to give you one on one Bible Studies). It doesn’t matter what the situation is, God can turn it around today.
“Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah). So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”” – Exodus 15:22-24
This is a very familiar story…at least what took place right before this. Moses just led God’s people across the Red Sea. Pharaoh & his army were flooded. God’s people were loving life. They were rejoicing, singing songs and felt as if nothing could go wrong. Can you relate? Ever had those moments where everything is going great? Everyone loves you, you get a promotion, the people you run into are nice, people let you cut in front of them on the freeway…you know what I mean? Well, they were definitely having a mountain top experience. Then three days later…everything changed. They went without water for three days and began to grumble. They even turned on Moses. Just a few days before, they loved him. Reminds me of how people welcomed Jesus by laying palm branches before him but a week later those same people were yelling “crucify him.”
This is where it gets good so pay attention. As the story continues, Moses went before the Lord in prayer. God shows Moses a tree, which he then throws in the water and it became sweet or ‘fit to drink.’ In one translation it says that he “pointed” to a tree. Notice how God didn’t create a tree, but it was already there. The tree is a representation of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. If we put Jesus (tree) in the center of our situation (sea), he’ll take care of the bitter waters (situation) and make them sweet. Are you putting Jesus in the middle of that stress, that marriage, that difficult financial situation or your most immediate need right now? I encourage you to make him the center. Even with the situation that you feel will never work out…we serve a God who specializes in the impossible.
The chapter ends with them coming to Elim and this is the final thought I want to leave you with today. There are two aramaic words for ‘Elim.’ The first root word is “mighty” and the second word is “a place of rest.” It can also be translated into a place of shade or provision. When you allow God to be the center of your bitter experience, He’ll bring you to a place where you’ll have victory. There were 12 springs & 70 palm trees where they camped. Why 12 & 70? Well, if the tree points to Jesus, the 12 points to his disciples and 70 points to the crowd that followed Christ. This points to ministry or God’s House. Look around the camp where God has placed you at today, you’re not alone. People stay weak & feable when they don’t plug into church and they try to do things on their own.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” – Hebrews 10:24-25
You’re victory is waiting for you. Let your bitter experiences make you better. God did it for Moses, I’ve seen Him do it countless times in my own life and I know He’s going to do it for you too. If you’re reading this it’s because God is not finished with you. He still has so much more for you to experience in life. Let that bitter taste leave today and let God set you up for sweet victories in your future.