by: Allen Domelle
“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.”
The children of Israel had just seen the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. What a mark that miracle must have made on their minds! Seeing God send an east wind overnight and watching the waters roll up into walls that left a pathway through the middle of the sea had to be one of the most amazing sights in history. Not only had they seen God do this, but they walked through the middle of the Red Sea on dry ground and watched the same waters that were rolled up collapse on the Egyptian army killing them all. This was such a miraculous event that a chapter was given to talk about their how they gave glory to God.
The very next event that we see with Israel is when they came to a place called Marah they murmured. They were thirsty, but they could not drink the waters of Marah because they were bitter. These bitter waters caused the people to murmur against Moses and God and ask, “What shall we drink?” This is amazing! They had just seen God part the Red Sea, and now they are murmuring and doubting that God could make those waters drinkable. How quickly they forgot the power of God. How quickly they let the memory of the Red Sea slip from their mind. Certainly, there was no need to murmur, because the same God Who parted the Red Sea could easily make those waters drinkable.
When you approach the waters of Marah in your life, you must be careful not to be so forgetful about what God has previously done for you. There are many Christians who tend to hold God hostage over their waters of Marah and forget the Red Sea experiences that He has already parted in their life. You must take some steps if you are going to avoid becoming the type of Christian who murmurs every time something adverse comes your way.
First, don’t look at life through the prism of one event. Israel’s tendency was to look at each event they approached instead of seeing the whole package of their life. If they had looked at the whole package, they would have seen God’s goodness and deliverance time and time again. This principle will help you not to become a murmuring Christian if it is applied.
Second, be a remembering Christian. When the waters of Marah come your way, remember the power of God that delivered you previously. God’s power has not lessened because you are at some bitter waters in your life. God has delivered you before, and He can deliver you again. Stop complaining and start praising. Praising God does more to help you overcome the bitter waters of life than seeking the sympathy of others through murmuring.
Third, look to the cross in times of bitter waters. The key to making the bitter waters sweet was when God said, “…and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet…” Calvary always has a way of making the bitter waters of life sweeter. If you look to the cross, you will find what you are facing is not so bad after all. Let me encourage you when you approach the bitter waters of Marah in life to let these three principles help you to be a rejoicing Christian as opposed to a murmuring one.