“So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah (bitter). And the people complained against Moses, saying, what shall we drink? So he cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.”
(Exodus 15:22-25)

After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites wandered in the desert for three days with nothing to drink. Finally, they came upon a pool of water.

Can you imagine how parched they were? Three days in the desert sun with nothing to drink! I can picture them running to the water’s edge full of anticipation. Kneeling on the hard earth, with cupped hands, the men and women scooped the liquid treasure to their lips and…spit it out! The water was bitter – brackish!!

But, wait a minute. Wasn’t God LEADING His people through the desert? Surely, He knew they were thirsty!! Why, on earth, would God lead His children to bitter water that they could not drink?

Look at verse 25. The Israelites complained about the water so Moses cried out to the Lord “and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters the waters were made sweet.”

The Lord made the bitter waters sweet! He wanted His children to understand that only He could take the bitterness of their lives and transform it into goodness and life. That’s why He led them to a bitter place. He had eternal purposes in mind.

Has God brought you to a bitter place? Please don’t turn away from Him in disgust or disappointment. Run to Him! Ask Him to make your bitterness sweet – to transform your hurts and fears into triumph for His glory!!

A tree turned the Israelites bitter water into sweet, life-sustaining water.

My Savior hung on a cross fashioned from a tree.

Lord, this is such an important lesson to learn. Thank You for teaching me. If I believe You are my God, (and I do) then I believe You are leading me. If I believe You are sovereign – in control – (and I do) then I believe that You are fully aware of everything happening in my life. I want to come to the place where, even when life is bitter, I know that You have eternal purposes in mind. Thank You for teaching me that only You can turn my bitter places into sweet, life-sustaining Living Water. You are too wonderful for words.