Summary: Today we are going to learn why God would allow so many Jews to be thirsty and then lead them to a pool of worthless water.
Purpose: To show how God used bitter water to display His power.
Aim: I want the listener to be confident in God’s ability to solve any problem.
INTRODUCTION: Today’s text occurs right after God delivered the Jews from slavery in Egypt and from the entire Egyptian army. Excitement and euphoria filled the entire nation of Israel which was expressed in the song that Moses had just written: Exodus 15:1–3 Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. “The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name. (NAU)
The first thing that God does is to take them for a three day journey without any water. Imagine the scene. You are one of the one and a half to two million Jews traveling the first day without finding water. Oh well, you are carrying some water with you. It was warm, but it is still wet. The second day comes and goes and still there is no water. Your containers of water are now empty. Your feeling of thirst is turning to deep concern. You hear your children complaining and you have no water to give them. You head out early in the morning on day three, and still there is still no water. Then you hear someone shouting, “I see water ahead.” You quicken your pace. Not long now until you and your family can finally get a drink of water. You crowd around the edge of a pool of water called Marah, and plunge your face into the water. The water is cool and soothing on your face. You take a big gulp, and then immediately spit it out. It is very bitter. In fact, it is so bitter that even your intense thirst does not tempt you to try another swallow.
Today we are going to learn why God would allow so many Jews to be thirsty and then lead them to a pool of worthless water. We know that this incident has some important lessons in it for us because Paul said, 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (NAU)
►Vs.22-24 I. The Need for God’s Healing
► Vs. 22 A. God allows us to be in need “three days…no water”
God allows hard things so that we can learn to trust Him. ►Deuteronomy 8:2–3 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. (NAU)
The same God who had led them to the Red Sea where it appeared there was no way to escape the world’s most powerful army that was closing in on them, has now led them into the desert.
► Vs.23-24 B. God allows us to taste bitterness “they could not drink”
Trials come from God. It is our choice to either grow or complain. It is up to us whether we will become bitter or better.
We will either seek God’s help and blessing during times of distress or we will walk away from God.
►In What Ways Can God Heal us?
► #1 Physically
The God who made our bodies can surely fix them when they are broken. It is important to point out, though, that nowhere in the Bible does God promise to always heal our bodies. If He did how would we get to heaven?
In fact, in 2 Corinthians 12 Paul asked God three times to remove a physical problem from him and God refused to do it. Instead, God gave him grace to endure.
Many people have quoted a verse from Isaiah 53 as proof that Jesus died on the Cross so we can be healed physically: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (NAU) The entire context though, is about sin not sickness. Peter quotes this verse in the context of sin as well: 1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (NAU)