And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, ~Exodus 15:25
The bottled water business in the USA is big. In 2018, approximately 13.85 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. Sales volume is expected to be $334 billion in 2023. Consumers are not just purchasing plain bottled water, but also sparkling water and water enhanced with vitamins and flavoring. There is something about flavored or sweetened water that people are willing to pay extra for. We are considering a familiar passage of Scripture where bitter water was made sweet.
We see the travel.
“So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.” The people, three days earlier, were celebrating the miracle of the Red Sea parting and crossing. They had never been in a desert wilderness setting for this long. After three days journey in the barren wilderness, they found no water. Until you are in a wilderness setting, you do not realize the value of water. No water meant that the reserves they brought with them would be depleted. No water meant that they could be dehydrated and die of thirst. No water is a sobering reminder of how much we take for granted the necessity of water. No water pointed to how badly they were in need of the Lord.
We see the tainted.
“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.” They came to a body of water that, at first sight, brought relief: that is, until they tasted the water. The water was acrid and bitter. It was not fit for consumption. In life, we will encounter bitter experiences. Failed experiences with our family, relationships, work, finances, trials, and even other Christians can be bitter to us. They could not drink because the waters were bitter. Bitter experiences are undrinkable. We face the evil of dying from the bitter waters or from thirstiness.
We see the talk.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” The waters were called Marah, or bitter. Bitterness brings the worst out of us. Three days before, Moses was the man of God, their prophet, and their deliverer. At Marah, they murmured against him. “Why did you bring us here?” “What shall we drink?” “It’s your fault.” Bitterness casts the blame on others when the root of the problem is what is inside of us. Bitterness is a root springing up inside of us. It’s there, hidden from sight, but when the circumstances are ripe for it to come up, it does so with poison and ugliness. Are you at a stopping point in life where the waters are bitter?
We see the transformation.
“And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” Moses prayed to the Lord for their situation. God showed him a tree, which he cut down and cast into the waters to make the waters sweet. You see, the tree is a symbol of the cross of Christ. We need to put to death our bitter experiences. We need to nail the bitterness to the cross and let Jesus have control. When that happens, the waters are made sweet. When the bitter waters become sweet, it is then that we must establish that it is Jesus Whom we stand on and not the bitter experiences. Let Jesus make your bitter waters sweet.
Have a sweetened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 18-22