Israel was fresh off one of the greatest and most miraculous victories in all of history. 430 years of bondage was obliterated by the mighty hand of God at the Red Sea. He had worked mightily by opening up a dry path through the sea and then inundating the Egyptian army therein. The subsequent praise songs of Moses and Miriam, "I will sing unto the Lord" and "Sing ye to the Lord" topped the Praise and Worship charts for that year.
However, only 3 days later, one of the most inane "what have you done for me lately?" whines ever uttered fell from the lips of God's MFN (most favored nation) citizens.
They had come to a place called Marah (bitter), aptly named, for the water there tasted as bitter as Mrs. Douglas' Green Acres coffee.
Moses was the nearest scapegoat, so they cast the blame on him. Goodness gracious! He's the man God used to deliver them from slavery and marched them across the dry sea bottom and then toward the Promised Land. He surely didn't deserve the tongue lashing he was receiving from 3 million ingrates.
But, how can we blame them too harshly? These were people with a slave mentality. They expected "massa" to fend for them once they "done come out da fields." This was just the beginning of their gripes and groans. There'd be complaints innumerable to follow. Moses was just beginning to feel burden of ingratitude and short term memory.
God, however, provided yet another miracle for these undeserving whiners, as He would time and time again. I suppose that's called grace, and I should be careful to count the fingers pointed back at me as I denigrate these stiff-necked, heart-hearted, memory-challenged children of Israel.
Here's the miracle...and it does hold credence for our plight. When they had tasted that the water was bitter, as we will similarly experience in our pilgrimage through life's wilderness, the bitter waters were sweetened when a cry was made to the Lord and the Lord showed Moses a tree to be cast into the waters. whereupon, the water became potably sweet.
Here it is friend: When life gets bitter, look to the tree that will make things sweet again, the cross of Calvary. Only that tree, when it is applied to our circumstances, can suffice in making the bitter sweet again.
It is wonderful when bitter Marah is made sweet thanks to Moriah (Calvary).