Sweetness in Bitter Times

Watering the Tulips

November 21, 2012



Do you remember the story of the Israelites as they came out of the land of Egypt?  It is one of the highlights in the Word of God.  God showed himself as the God of all gods to the mightiest nation in the world at the time by sending plague after plague upon the nation.


After the plague of the firstborn, Pharaoh finally came to his breaking point and he decided to let the Israelites go.  They never had to fight a battle.  Their taskmasters indeed were glad to see them go.


Things looked great as they approached the Red Sea. When Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again, he came after the Israelites in a fury to bring them back to Egypt.  No one could ever forget what came next when the Lord instructed Moses to raise his staff and the Red Sea split into two walls of water.  The land between the two walls was even dry!  The Israelites (not a small band of people – some say in the millions) passed through without any problem at all.


When the Jewish people got to the other side, Pharaoh’s captains led the armies of Egypt between the two walls of water where they would be swallowed to death by the collapsing waters.  What devastation to the army of Egypt!  What deliverance for God’s chosen nation!


As you read on in Scripture, you read of the great celebration that took place on the other side of the Red Sea.  Here we have the first song mentioned in the Word of God.  What joy there must have been in the camp! But, joy would only be short lived, seemingly.


You see as we read on in the Exodus account we read, 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 of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.And the people complained against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’” (Exodus 15:22-24).


Immediately, after the greatest thing that any of them had ever seen in life, came this time of great thirst.  The only water around was tainted so that they could not drink it.  The people began to think they were going to die out in the wilderness and began to complain against God.


If you read on in the account you will see that God showed Moses a tree to cast into the water.  When he did so, the waters of Marah turned sweet.  The people were able to drink of the waters to sustain their lives and then God led them to Elim where there were twelve wells of water.


Friends I mention this story in the Word of God today because oftentimes in life we come right off a mountaintop experience into bitter waters of life.  It’s easy to give up hope.  It’s easy to begin murmuring against the same God you were praising on the mountaintop.


When you find yourself at bitter water’s edge don’t lose hope.  The same God that made bitter waters sweet at Marah is the same God that can make bitter waters sweet in your life.  God instructed Moses to cast in a tree.  Today friends I point you to the tree that makes all bitter waters sweet – The tree of Calvary.  Here we find hope.  Here we find comfort.  Here we find a Savior who is ready to bear us up on eagle’s wings. Here we find one who will turn our bitterness into joy and victory!  ~ Pastor John Fry, Ceredo, WV


Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net.  “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play.  Please download it today!


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