Summary: How to manage the difficulties of life so that God can receive the Glory and we can receive the Blessing.
When Life Turns Bitter Instead of Sweet
1. Misconception that because you are in the Church and saved things are always going to be Good, Sweet, Enjoyable, and Pleasant
2. Or that there will not be any difficult days in life because you are now on the Lord’s side.
The REALITY is that life is still going to be life, and that is full of difficult days.
· Scripture (Romans 8:28) teaches that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, but it does not say that all things we endure are good.
· Many so-called, Christian leaders preach that we are always suppose to be on top and that there is no struggle in Christ.
· BUT on the contrary sometimes we may have to live in the bitter before we get to the sweet.
· We all have to go through the valley to get to the mountaintop.
· We must be determined to go through the Valley of Bitterness, Depression, and Despair to reach the Mountains of Victory, Joy, and Happiness
· God Forbid that the bitter times in life lead us to murmur and complain instead of prayer, fasting, and devotion to God
I. Background information on text:
· The great Exodus event, perhaps the greatest event at that time in human history has just taken place
· The people are emotionally charged because of the great Exodus, this is evident in the song 15:1 ff
· The song is followed by the dance. Can life get any better than this?
· This is how life is often times for many us. We move from a high point where everything appears to be going right, to those (and then) moments when things are all going amiss.
· WHAT DO WE DO IN THOSE AND THEN MOMENTS
II. Verse 22. A BAD SITUATION
· The people are on the move, they are following Moses and God
· Things appear to be going well, this is a good move
· God through Moses is leading then to a place of no water (a wilderness, much like the leading of Christ to a wilderness)
· Wilderness of SHUR means WALL
· The wall used to protect Egypt from Asia is symbolic here as a barrier stopping them from further their relationship with God
· 3 days go by with no WATER, no SUSTENANCE, PROVISION,
III. Verse 23 GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE
· Marah means BITTER
· It’s bad when there is no water, it is worse when the only water you find is bitter, not drinkable
· Desert springs are frequently bitter
· They could not find any other water, now what are they to do
· Have you ever been in a Now WHAT am I to do moment in life?
· How do you respond in those moments in life?
IV. Verse 24 THE RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE
· The people murmured, grumbled, and complained
· It is amazing that they direct their anger towards God to Moses
· People always take their frustration towards God towards people
· Have you ever responded like the people did in Moses’ day?
V. Verse 25 THE RESPONSE OF MOSES
· He did not join in complaining
· He did the only thing that he could do: PRAY
· “Happy is the one that learns to Pray instead of Complain”
· THE SOLUTION IS PROVIDED BY GOD NOT MOSES
· Salvation is in the TREE
§ This is fitting because all of our problems began at a tree in a beautiful Garden
§ The First Tree: in a Garden Sin entered the story, but thank God that is not the only tree in the Bible
§ The Second Tree: in our text today in the wilderness is a foreshadowing of things to come and how the sin problem will be taken care of with a tree.
§ The Third Tree: on a lonely hill called Calvary, 1 Peter 2:24 says that He bore our sins on that Tree now we can live unto righteousness by whom stripes we are healed
§ This Tree represents the healing of the soul
§ God showed us the gift of salvation on a tree but Moses had to act to see it
· Moses had to cast the tree into the Bitter waters
· He did not go into the water only the Tree
· We have to cast the Tree into the bitter waters of our lives
· We must put the Tree, i.e. the Gospel message (Jesus and the Cross) into the bitterness of life and let Jesus make it sweet
· Whenever Jesus mixes with the bitterness of life He makes it sweet again