We shall consider what I call the ‘Marah (Bitter) Experience’ in this write up, and in doing so, we shall pay close attention to Exodus 15:22-27.
By way of summary, Moses had just led the Isrealites out of Egypt, and then through the red sea into the desert of Shur. There, they wandered around for three days looking for water to drink all to no avail. Eventually they got to Marah, where they encountered bitter waters, which were not right for drinking. So, they (the Israelites) grumbled loud and clear against Moses, and he in return, sought God for assistance. As expected, God answered him, showed him a piece of wood, which he threw into the waters, and they became sweet; right for drinking.
There are many lessons, which we can adduce from the account above. But, for the purpose of this write up, we shall consider the following only.
1. As far as this world is concerned, there is no end to human tribulations
The Israelites had just gone through what can be referred to as a ‘hell on earth’ situation in Egypt, and then the red sea. I am sure they must have thought their horrendous ordeals were over. But, they weren’t! When they got to the desert, they could not find water to drink, and the ones they eventually found in Marah, were bitter; not right for drinking, and death from thirst was imminent. No doubt, they moved from one tribulation into another.
Similar situations apply to a lot of people globally nowadays. As soon as they overcome one problem, others, usually more difficult, are waiting for them around the corner. If this scenario is applicable to you, please know that you are not alone. It only confirms what Jesus Christ said in John 16:33b, i.e., “…In the world you will have tribulation…’’; but the good news is that He is in total control (John 16:33c), and He will not allow any bad situation to engulf you (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2. Hard work alone does not guarantee success.
There is nothing wrong with hard work per se, but, it is just not enough to guarantee success. The Israelites walked around extensively in the desert for three days, trying to locate at least one source of drinking water without success. Eventually, they found some in Marah, which were bitter, hence not right for human consumption. We can therefore conclude that their hard work, even though vital, was not good enough to guarantee them success.
This is the situation with many people these days. They do things in their own ways only; some of them even believe that God is no longer relevant in the scheme of things. To such people, I say pause a little bit, and consider Proverbs 14:12, which say: “There is a way that seems right to a man. But its ends is the way of death’’. Besides, please remember that unless the Lord builds a house, they labor in vain who build it (Psalm 127:1). So, hard work alone, does not, and cannot guarantee success.
3. We should involve God in all things if we want excellent and durable success
When the Israelites could not locate any credible source of drinking water, they grumbled loud and clear against Moses, who in return sought help from God. That is, he involved God on behalf of his people, and a comforting solution soon came. This should have been their reaction from the beginning!
Perhaps there is a great/unending issue in your life or in the life of someone close to you, which you have been battling with to date without success; please don’t worry. May be you have to change your tactics a little bit. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says: “Commit into the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed’’. Therefore, from now on, please commit all your ways, efforts, and worries into God’s hand, and solution(s) will come in due season, in Jesus name. Amen.
Finally, remember that it is “the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).
Jesus is Lord!
Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.
Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies