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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Sweet Water

Today's Verse:

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


Do you add sugar, honey, or some kind of sweetener to your coffee or other beverages? A sweetener helps to make something bland, bitter, or tasteless become sweet and drinkable. The Hebrews had been in the wilderness for three days and needed water. When they came to what they thought was a suitable water source, they quickly discovered that the waters were acrid and bitter. They named that place Marah which means bitter. This morning, we are looking at what bitterness can do to us and how it can be overcome. We will see this morning how the bitterness of life can become sweetened.


We see a destructive status.

The children of Israel found water, but sadly realized that the waters were bitter and undrinkable. They named it Marah which means bitter. The name Marah described their status at that moment: it was bitter! It is amazing how we can go from being on top of the world one moment, and quickly find ourselves in an unwanted and ugly situation. Bitterness is when we feel like everything in life has collapsed around us and we are gravely disappointed. When bitterness sets in, we are spiteful of people and our condition. The people murmured and complained to Moses. When we are bitter, we blame other people for our problem. When bitterness sets in, we are on a path of individual destruction. Bitterness takes away our joy, poisons our relationships, and makes us stagnant and ineffective. Left unchecked, bitterness will take away our life.


We see a dynamic solution.

Moses was now dealing with a leadership crisis. All of the people were upset with him and blaming him for bringing them to this place. Moses quickly cried out to the Lord. That’s what we should do when bitterness raises its ugly head: call out to God in prayer! Moses was now at a place where he was ready to listen to God. God told him to cut down a tree and cast it into the bitter waters. As soon as Moses did that, the waters were changed. The waters became sweet for the first time. The waters became drinkable. What God told Moses is the cure for our bitterness. The tree is a symbol of the cross. We must nail self and the poison of bitterness on the cross. We must let the power of the cross cancel out our bitterness. We must act swiftly and decisively in getting our eyes on the Lord and off of ourselves. Only then can the bitter waters become sweet and drinkable for us. We read that there the Lord proved them. The Lord brought them to this place to show them how much they needed Him.


We see a directed strategy.

This strategy was given to help them avoid the trap of bitterness. There, God made it clearly known that it was of utmost importance that they obey and follow His statutes and commandments for their lives. In essence, God was teaching them that obedience to Him was necessary if they wanted His blessing on their lives. Obedience is the outflow of faith in action. Obedience demonstrates our love for God. Obedience indicates that we trust in the Lord and not in ourselves. Obedience is the preventive medicine that helps us avoid the poison of bitterness.


The bitter became better for the Hebrews. What looked like a bad situation was averted when Moses cut down the tree and cast it into the waters. Your bitter can become better. Follow the strategy that God gave to Moses, and let God keep the waters of your life flowing and sweet.


Have a sweetened God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Ezra 1-3

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