"And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah." (Exodus 15:23)
When we come to this passage of scripture God has just delivered the children of Israel from the Egyptians and allowed them to cross the Red Sea. After experiencing these miracles, they find themselves traveling for three days in the wilderness without water, which is a pretty big problem for three million Jews. Finally God leads them to a body of water called Marah, but there is another problem. They cannot drink of the waters of Marah because they are bitter. There are times when God leads us to those hard, or bitter, places in our lives, and I believe it is during these times we can learn some great truths about life if we are willing to listen to Him. I don’t know about you but I am interested in learning everything I can about life. Here are three things we can learn from those Marah experiences:
1. Life Is A Mixture…Israel was in bondage for several hundred years in Egypt. Then God delivered them from bondage and they enjoyed the blessings of God. They stood on the banks of the Red Sea and watched as their enemy was miraculously defeated. They enjoyed God’s blessings, but they were then led to face the bitter as well. If our walk with God was all victories, how shallow would our faith be?
It is at Marah that we find ourselves seeking His face more and maturing as Christians. People in our day assume that once you accept Christ as your saviour, everything is going to be perfect and there will be no bumps in the road. However, our Christian walk does have a mixture of good and bad. Marah reminds us that life is a mixture.
2. Life Has A Master…When Israel arrived at Marah, they seemed to forget all the wonderful things God had done for them. They forgot about the plagues, their deliverance, and the miracle at the Red Sea. They forgot that up until that time, the Lord had been in absolute control. They forgot that God is Master of life during both the good times and the bad.
Sounds a lot like us doesn't it? We forget that the same God who was in control of the good day is still on the throne in the bad day! He is in charge of all of life. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
The Israelites rejoiced in His miracles, but when the storm came they forgot what they had just witnessed. Your life does have a master, and He is in control. We need to remember that the Master, at times, allows the mixture of good and bad to show us that He is still in control.
3. Life Has A Ministry...Our Master doesn’t put us through difficult Marah experiences for no reason. It is not that God, sitting in Heaven, is bored and decides to place us at Marah in our lives for His own entertainment. God has purposed everything that we are faced with for our good. Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well;” Baca is known as the valley of weeping, but notice what the Psalmist said…passing through...God never intended for us just to sit at Marah, or in the valley, and die there. His purpose is to help us and mature us while we are there, and for us to be able to help others when they arrive at Marah. The Psalmist also said, make it a well. When we drink water from a well we are enjoying refreshment at the hand of someone else’s hard work. In order to get water from a well, someone else has to have already been there, dug the well, and put the work into making our time of refreshment enjoyable. The Master allows a mixture in your life so that you can have a ministry of helping others when they get to where you have already been.
This week, if you are at Marah, don't focus on the bitter water. Try to focus on what God is trying to teach you so you can be a help to someone else one day.