Don't Yield to Bitterness

In Exodus 15:22-23, we read that three days after passing through the Red Sea, the children of Israel came to Marah and could not drink of the water because it was bitter. It was just three days after a great victory and deliverance through the Red Sea. The passing through the Red Sea was the culmination of God's plagues upon Egypt and was a witness of God's provision and deliverance. Yet only three days later, the people were murmuring.

Often the Lord will allow a test to occur in our lives right after He has given us victory to see if we are trusting in Him. As soon as Moses prayed to God, the Lord showed Moses a tree that could be cast into the waters to make them sweet. Of course, this tree represents a type of the cross of Calvary and points us to Jesus, His blood, and His sacrifice as the answer to problems that occur.

Marah means "bitter," and it's easy to become bitter when there have been disappointments in life, but we must resist bitterness and call upon the Lord in our situations, asking the Lord how to handle the situation. Right down the road from Marah was the oasis of Elim with 12 wells and 70 palm trees.

The palm tree is often a symbol of victory. The 12 wells represent water for all twelve tribes. If we resist bitterness and learn to handle situations the Lord's way, we will find out that right down the road is victory, and all we need is to go forward. If we don't resist bitterness, it can take root and yield bitter results in our lives, as well as in the lives of those around us. The Bible says, "...lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15).

Let's trust in the Lord and ask Him how to apply the cross in every situation and to lift up the name of Jesus with the knowledge that He cares for us and will provide for us right down the road (Proverbs 3:5).

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