Summary: This sermons points out that as the cry of Moses to God brought cure to the bitter waters of Marah, the sourness in the life of the one without Christ (or the one with Christ that is facing problems) can be sweetened if he/she will cry to Jesus Christ who
JOURNEY FROM SOURNESS TO SWEETNESS
TEXT: Ex. 15: 22 – 27
Pastor Zacch Olorunnipa
Key Verse: 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 (Ex. 15:25).
As the old adage goes, the road to success is not always paved with gold. The experience of the Israelites as they journeyed from Egypt to the land that “flows with milk and honey” was laden with various obstacles that had to be surmounted. Among these were the pursuit by Pharaoh’s army, the Red Sea, drought, hunger, gluttony, wars, and sins (e.g. idolatry, unbelief, theft, disobedience, murmuring, etc). The focus of this message is on the particular experience of the Israelites at the wilderness of Shur in terms of miraculous transition from sourness to sweetness. This experience typifies changes that take place when a sinner becomes saved (by Jesus Christ) and embarks on the journey to heaven. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you learn the lessons that are pointed out in this message that can change all your life’s waters of bitterness to waters of sweetness in Jesus name.
The Faithful God had promised to bless and make Abraham great and give him and his descendants plenty of land and other assets (Gen 12: 1-3; 13: 14-16;15: 1-7; 17:1-8, 15-19; 22: 16-16; 26:2-5; 28: 13-15; 35: 9-12). Along the way the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and made to serve with rigor and to suffer many afflictions. They cried to God and He decided to have pity on them. “And it came to pass in process of time that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them (Ex. 2: 23-25). Are you under any affliction or bondage today? Cry to God and claim His promise in Psalm 50:15 which says “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me”.
Moses was divinely prepared and chosen to be used in delivering the Israelites from bondage (Ex. Ch. 2&3). Note however, that his preparation and training did not come easy. For example, he suffered human abandonment and loneliness as an infant caged in a basket and dropped in a river until picked up by Pharaoh’s daughter. Also, he lived in the wilderness as a shepherd for 40 years exposed to dangers and various environmental hazards. However, God was with him, and he was able to learn many things including endurance, caring attitude, dependence on God, leadership skills, etc. Have you been abandoned by you’re parents, spouse, fiancé, business partner, Church member, etc? Are you facing any form of hardship or unpleasant situation? Take heart and learn from Moses’ experience. The LORD who was with Moses has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Remember, “ --- that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rm. 28: 8). You present situation is preparing you to learn lessons that will help you get to your sweet destination.
It was while Moses was keeping the flock of his father in law – Jethro the Midian Priest – that the angel of God appeared to him and announced his new job. He who has been leading animals to find water, grass and safety has been called to become leader of the entire nation of Israel which was about to be delivered from bondage. “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. -------- Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Ex. 2: 7- 10)
From the Red Sea to Wilderness of Shur
Moses took God’s message to Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. Pharaoh was adamantly stubborn not to hearken to the voice of the long suffering God, despite 10 successive plagues rained on him and his people. However, the straw that broke the carmel’s back, was the plague that killed every Egyptian first born including Pharaoh’s. The stubborn Pharaoh had to bow to God and freed the Israelites after 430 years under Egyptian bondage (Ex. 12: 29- 41).