“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?”… “(Ex 15:22-27)
The evening prayer meeting was very good. We started strong expectations. The Holy Wind was blowing in the sails of our faith. Therefore we made progress. The presence of God was strong in our midst. We declared that we have entered a season of peace (Shalom). One of the hindrances of peace is the root of bitterness. The passage we read is from the Book of Exodus (15:22-27). This story follows the great triumph and deliverance experienced by the people of God. The Red Sea opened for them and they crossed over to the other side. The same Sea closed its watery mouth and all the Egyptians drowned in it. Jehovah God proved that He cares for His people. They praised God like never before. Hopefully, in two weeks, they should reach the Promised Land. But it was not to be. Just three days later after this mighty deliverance and ‘fearful praise’, the same people started grumbling for water to drink. They found a pool of water in the desert. But the water was bitter and after swallowing a mouth full, they cried to Moses, asking for water to drink.
The word ‘bitter’ in Hebrew is ‘Marah’. The word means to rob somebody until the place becomes sore, to provoke somebody for a long time until he becomes angry. The word ‘grumble’ means to complain, to express anger or pain, to find fault, to disagree or to attack. Be careful! The people who complain about their circumstances are not harmless. They are using their tongues to attack your spirit. Their bitter words of complain are like viruses. They inject their poison into your spirit so that you can share in it. One of the most frequent arrows of complains is the lack of money. They will tell you that they do not have food to eat, or clothes to wear, or their school fees are not paid. They may describe a true situation. But as a child of God you must make a spiritual assessment. You cannot act just from your natural emotions. If you give them just money, you have not solved their problem. They will not be grateful and they will come back to you again for more money. Not only that but you have ignorantly sponsored ‘a bitter root that causes trouble and defiles many’ (Heb 12: ). You are to identify such grumbling as spiritual attacks and you are to resist these poisonous words with the shield of faith. You are to tell such a person that the only thing you can do is to pray for their deliverance. Direct their attention to the Lord Jesus. Tell them that they need Jesus as their Savior and Provider. Tell them that you are not God. If not, ignorantly, you are contributing to the spreading of spiritual poison in this land. We prayed against the bitter root! We separated ourselves from any relationship that is a source of spiritual bitterness. We prayed that we may be free form grumbling poisonous spirits. We prayed that we may enter the blessed land of Peace! We pray that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit, sweet, spiritual and strong! In Jesus name, amen!
But there is good news: in the midst of this troubled situation of bitterness, anger and grumbling, the revelation of Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer, is given. We shall continue next week…