Exodus 15:25 – “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…”
I’ve been writing about bitterness. The bitter water of Marah, and the bitterness of Naomi’s soul, and today I want to talk a little bit about the path to victory.
In this chapter in Exodus, we read how the children of Israel were three days in the wilderness looking for water when they came to Marah. It was called Marah because of the bitter waters. After they discovered the bitter water they began to complain against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink”? I’m pretty sure they said more than that!
In the verse above, Moses cried out to the Lord. That is key to getting the victory. Crying out to the Lord is a form a prayer. ( See Numbers 20:16, 1 Kings 17:21, Psalm 18:6). Getting the victory over bitterness will involve crying out to God! He is the only one who truly understands the circumstances and root of the problem; and He is the only one who can effectively deal with it. He doesn’t need a list of all the things that happened, He doesn’t have to be reminded of all the pain experienced to get to this place, He was there! The place of prayer should never become the place of complaining! This time can be better spent asking Him for forgiveness, acknowledging the need to be made free, and receiving healing!
I know people just like Naomi. They may not ask to be called Mara, but their actions and attitude certainly make you want to call them that. Men and women alike who feel they have been dealt a bad hand by society, by their family members, by their boss, by the Lord. There seems to be nothing that you can say to help them to see that they have become embittered and they need to let this stuff go. Trust me when I say, I can understand a lot of these feelings. But when we allow bitterness’ roots to take over our life, they choke the life out of us. It’s time to be free!
After Moses cried out to the Lord, the Lord showed him a tree. And when he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. Before Moses cried out, God had already prepared the answer! A tree! God’s purification system for the bitter waters was a tree! Simplistic, yet just what they needed for their miracle! When Moses prayed (cried out) to the Lord, He was able to hear from God and to see the provision.
As He had provided for the children of Israel, He had done the same thing for Naomi. She was complaining about her situation, and how bitter she was because of it, and God had already provided for her. Ruth! Ruth served Naomi by going out and reaping in the fields in order for them to have food. She catches the eye of the owner, Boaz, who just happens to be a relative of Naomi’s. Naomi decided that Ruth needed to marry Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, and tells Ruth how to make it happen. He marries Ruth, and then they have a son! Look at God, providing a family for Naomi!
Ruth 4:14-15- “Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter -in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.’”
These were probably the same women who asked, “Is this Naomi?” They watched, along with everyone else, as Ruth took care of Naomi. When Obed was born, they proclaimed to Naomi that Ruth’s love was better than seven sons. That’s some kind of love! Not only that, they spoke into Naomi’s life in regards to Obed, that he would be to her “a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age”. God placed Ruth in her life, led Ruth to her kinsman redeemer, and blessed them with a son. Look at God!
Naomi didn’t recognize this when she was filled with bitterness. As a matter of fact, it is as if the women had to point it out to her! In other words, there’s no more reason to be bitter Naomi, look at all that God has provided for you! What a blessing Ruth was to Naomi, but what a blessing to have people around you who can help you see life through a clearer set of lens. Don’t rebuff them, for in doing so you might miss God!
After God brings healing to the waters of Marah, He establishes a statue with the children of Israel that He is Jehovah Rapha the God that heals. He healed bitter water and He heals bitterness of the soul! He heals physically, emotionally, and mentally; and He evens heals nature when He needs to.
In verse 27, they arrive at a place called Elim. In this place they discover twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. Just as Naomi’s story ends on a high, the children of Israel’s story ends on a high. God provided them with more than enough! He led them to a place with plenty of water, and plenty of shade; an oasis.
When we allow God, to “sweeten the water” of our lives, our future will be much brighter than our current situation. The tree of life still cleanses and purifies bitterness. That tree of life is Jesus!
Don’t wait another day to cry out to the Lord. Then look for His provision in the situation. Whatever He shows you, whatever He asks of you, grab hold to it as your provision, and get the victory over bitterness! Let the rest of your life be the best of your life! Wonderful Jesus!!