Exodus 15:22-27 (KJV) 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. 23 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. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 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, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. 27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.
“I am the LORD that Healeth”. This is the fourteenth name of God that we have studied, YAHWEH RAPHA or ROPHE (Hebrew יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah רָפָא Rapha’), The LORD Who Heals.
God’s Israel had just come through the Red Sea, and had seen God destroy the armies of Egypt and their Pharaoh under its crushing waters. Having been blessed by God you would think that Israel would have their hearts filled with faith. But they weren’t.
Israel was not FAITH controlled but FEELING controlled.
FAITH looks to God – the God of Scripture – even when things are not going my way.
FEELING looks to ME, not to Yahweh.
FAITH trusts God.
FEELING murmurs and complains.
FAITH addresses God, calling out to Him in the pain.
FEELING curses and blames God.
FAITH is willing to wait on the Lord even when things are not optimal.
FEELING demands immediate satisfaction and relief.
Israel is running on FEELING not on FAITH. There a lot of Churches and a lot of Christians who run on FEELING and not on FAITH. But running on FEELING you will never experience God’s best for you. Running on FEELING you will waste your lives satisfying self, but never experience the VICTORY that God wants you to experience in this life.
God’s people are called to be overcomers. Faith in God is supposed to be ovecoming. The Scripture declares:
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Nothing displeases God more than the faithless life. The unbeliever has misplaced faith in idols, and that dissatisfies God. God calls His people to be overcomers. He says:
1 John 5:2-5 (KJV) 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Overcoming faith in an immense God is what our Lord wants us to have. So God tests us. He tested Israel.
Exodus 15:22 (KJV) 22 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.
God took His people into a wilderness, a desert area called Shur. Shur is southwest of Palestine and still within the borders of Egyptian territory. Israel is walking through this desert and the Bible tells us that three days into the wilderness there is no water. The human body can go without food for forty or more days (depending on how much fat you have). But the human body
demands water. Survival experts use the Rule of Threes.
Three minutes without air
Three hours without shelter in a harsh environment
Three days without water
Three weeks without food
But these are just general rules. Some people have survived 8 to 10 days without water. But water is desperately needed. Israel has gone without water in the harsh desert climate of Shur for three days. Then they come to an oasis called Marah. What does Marah mean? It means “bitter”. Someone had discovered this Oasis before and, trying to drink the water, they discovered that it was bitter.
Can you imagine this? You are literally dying of thirst. In the distance you see palm trees and the sparkle of water. You were staggering before, but now you start marching faster and faster toward that Oasis. There are about 6 million of you, a large nation moving faster and faster. As the first ones get to the Oasis they dive in, grab a mouth full of water, and then spit it out. It is horrible, bitter, alkaline. Who led you to this bitter water?
Moses did. God did.
Now God knows what you need. As King David said:
Psalm 23:1-3 (KJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
God led His people to this place. God wants His people to cry out to Him, to seek His blessing when the bad things come. The people do not go to God in prayer. They do not seek His face. Instead they murmur against Moses:
Exodus 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
1 Murmuring Fixes Nothing. When Tried – Pray In Faith To God! All grumbling and complaining does is irritate God. We are told in:
Philippians 2:12-16 (KJV) 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Those who are saved from Egypt are to be God’s Children. Those who are God’s Children are to reflect His Light and His Love. The people did two things that were wrong.
- First, They Grumbled Instead Of Praying. They should have sought God for a solution to their problem. God did not lead 6 million people out of Egypt through the Red Sea just to let them die at Marah. God saved them when they stood before too much water. God will save them now that they stand before tainted water. Grumbling is a sin. Murmuring leads to destruction.
1 Corinthians 10:8-12 (KJV) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
- Second, They Murmured AT Moses Instead Of Praying TO The LORD. Moses can’t fix the water problem, but God can.
So Moses goes to God in prayer. We read:
Exodus 15:25 And he cried unto the LORD …
What did Moses pray? The Bible doesn’t tell us. It just tells us he CRIED unto the Lord. I think that’s what Moses did. He cried. Moses was suffering just as the people were suffering. Moses was thirsty just as the people were thirsty. He was tired. He was wore out. And now Moses has the added burden of 6 million people blaming HIM because the water is no good.
And Moses cries.
He doesn’t complain. He comes before God, and pours out his heart. He weeps tears he can little afford to lose.
Psalm 34:17 (ESV) When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 18:6 (ESV) In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
And one of my favorite texts …
Psalm 56:8 … You (O Lord) put my tears in Your bottle
The murmurings of God’s people upset the Lord, but our cries He hears. Moses cried out. And God gave Moses a beautiful solution.
Exodus 15:25 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,
God showed Moses a tree, and Moses took that tree and cast it into the bitter waters, and the waters were made sweet. Why a Tree?
Because it is by a Tree that God has redeemed us. The Tree cast in the waters of Marah was an Old Testament type or shadow of what Jesus Christ would do for us on His Cross. The Bible says:
Galatians 3:13 (KJV) 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Jesus Christ hung on a Cross – a Tree – on a hill called Calvary. On that Tree He suffered and died. It by faith in Him, trusting Him, receiving Him as Lord and Savior, believing that He died for us that the bitterness of our lives are turned sweet. From Christ we receive the water of everlasting life. From Christ we receive Rivers of Living Water, the Holy Spirit of God.
The Devil and his followers hate the Cross of Christ. When Peter and the Apostles were preaching Christ and faith in Him as the only way to salvation the religious leaders corrected them, commanding them NOT to preach Jesus. The Apostles replied:
Acts 5:29-32 (KJV) …. We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
If you are God’s Child God will prove you. He will test you. Testing by trials strengthens your faith. As someone once said:
An Untried Faith Cannot Save
An Untested Faith Is That Of The Slave
If you belong to God He will test you. Cry out to Him!
2 A Faith That Will NOT Look To God Will NOT Lead To Blessing But To Cursing. God told Israel following this incident:
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
God told His people several things. He said:
Listen to Me – “diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God”
Do what I say – “do that which is right in His sight”
Listen to Me – “give ear to His commandments”
Do what I say – “keep all his statutes”
If you are saved, you follow the One Who saved you. God said “Listen to Me” and “Do what I say” two times for emphasis. Then warned …
If you’ll do this, I will not put on you what I put on the Egyptians
God brought ten plagues on Egypt because they would not receive Him as Lord and Savior. Rather than murmur when trials come, look up. Trials grow the Christian. But trials also sift the wheat from the tares, the true believer from the false.
Exodus 15:26 for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
God heals His people. God takes the bitter and makes it sweet. He takes the broken and makes us complete. He takes the strangers and makes us sons.
If we receive Him.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus!
May God touch your hearts with His Word.