Exodus 15 - Singing and Suffering
Exodus 15 is an anthem of praise to God for Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. It’s often called the song of Moses and the men got a choir together and sang it. Then in antiphonal response the women under the leadership of Miriam sang as well.
As soon as they are free from Egypt’s bondage, God begins to assess their faith. Firstly, there is no water at Shur. Then there is bitter water at Marah. The people grumble about this to Moses and Moses goes to God. God shows him a tree and he throws it in the water and the waters become sweet and drinkable. The Lord says to them that if they heed His voice then they will remain healthy. He says "I the Lord, am Your healer".
Worship songs are a natural response of God’s people throughout history. Israel affirms God’s miraculous deliverance and they sing praises to God with their hearts full of victory and then 3 days later, when they are faced with a desert situation, they cry out in complaint with hearts that are empty of songs of praise. How fickle we are at times. The moment we find ourselves in a difficult situation we quickly forget just how faithful our God is.
I remember a 3 day fast that I went on once where I decided to neither eat nor drink anything. My throat became dry and felt like paper. I found it hard to swallow my own saliva. These people had travelled in a desert for 3 days. When they expected to find water at Shur, it was not there. When they arrived at Marah, the water was bitter, brackish and undrinkable.
It interests me that God tests me by allowing me to go through difficult situations in order to prove the quality of my character, the genuineness of my worship and the motivations of my service. What is your Marah?
I can sing praises easily when things are working out well for me. Throughout my Christian life, I have not been so ready to praise Him during the tough times. So often I have failed the test of worship, but I’m learning that Marah is a place where God is able to intervene and turn bitterness into blessing.
Instead of complaining to others, I am learning to go to God for guidance and to trust in Him for my provision. He is even more interested in changing me than He is in changing my circumstances. It is when the cross is thown into my bitterness that my character becomes sweet and I begin to be the blessing to others that I was meant to be. It is when I am willing to sing even in my suffering that I am able to receive the miraculous intervention of God into my circumstances and recognize that He was leading me to an oasis all along.
God bless you Church, as you learn to praise Him, even in the tough times and trust Him to provide for you.