I don’t know about you but back in my school and college days I hated tests.
Tests show us what we know. They also show us what we don’t know, which is a good thing. By showing us what we don’t know, we know what area to concentrate in.
Grumbling Because We Quickly Forget
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
Israel is grumbling. Just three days ago, God parted the Red Sea. God did something absolutely amazing with water. Now they have another water issue. They seem to have forgotten what God did just three days ago.
God guided them to Marah. If we are walking with God, He does not guide us to places that are useless and have no point.
The people are grumbling about Moses but they haven’t gone to God. Moses goes to God.
God Again Does a Miracle and Tells the Future
25 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.
God tested Israel. In one sense, they failed. God let them know more tests are coming. These tests will show where our faith is at.
God makes the water not just drinkable but sweet. A piece of wood purifies the water. A piece of wood takes that which is unclean and makes it clean. That wood removes the impurities the disease.
Who would think thousands of years later Jesus hanging on a piece of wood would remove our impurities? Bring us from unclean to clean.
God is telling them there will be more tests. Those tests can be a blessing to you. As things fall apart, God has a plan unfolding. Hanging onto Jehovah Shalom makes the test easier.
26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
God even tells them that He won’t bring the diseases He brought on Egypt on them. I am Jehovah Rophe the God who heals. Does that mean they won’t get sick?
No, God is talking about the plagues. The plagues he brought on Egypt was because of the sin of Idolatry. God is saying plagues won’t harm you if you follow me.
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
God brings them to 12 springs. How many tribes are there? 12. Each tribe gets their own spring. What is a spring? It is water that is fresh.
In John 7:37-38, the Holy Spirit is a well within us that is flowing with streams of living water, water that gives life, life to the fullest. Water that refreshes and renews, that fills us up to overflowing.
God could have just brought them there to begin with. He could have skipped over Marah. He could have just arrived at Elim.
We can’t get to Elim unless we go through Marah. It is in Marah we learn to have faith. It is Marah we are tested and we wait on God. Jehovah Jireh is looking to provide Elim that refreshing and renewing place.
Maybe we have been in Marah a long time. Maybe we have been going through stressful and trying times. Maybe we haven’t passed the test in Marah. Maybe God is sitting there waiting, yearning for us to get to Elim, but we are stopping it from happening.
We just need to learn the lesson of Marah, to get through the test. Maybe I have been grumbling about Moses when I should be going to Jesus. Maybe I have been in this circular pattern of anger about a loss and God is trying to have me see the joy of what I had and have. Maybe I see a circumstance that is too big, and I can’t see the end. I can’t see a way out. God is saying that is because you keep looking at the circumstance instead of looking at me.
Jehovah Rophe, the Lord who heals is waiting to heal. Are we ready to receive it?
1. Read God’s Word – Read Romans 12
2. A Place of Prayer – Ask God have I allowed the world to define me or You to define me?
3. Battle – Start each day realizing God consecrates you. Throughout the day show this in your life. Find a person to walk with you.