So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they
went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the
wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could
not drink the water of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was
called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying , What shall
we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree,
which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he
made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If
thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD they God, and wilt do that
which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all
his statures, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought
upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
The Bible says that the children of Israel crossed the Red
Sea and Pharaoh's army followed them. When the Hebrews were safely across,
the Lord brought a wall of water upon Pharaoh's army and they perished. So
Moses brought his people into the wilderness of Shur. (The land of Shur got its
name like this -- one of the Hebrew men did some rambling around in the
wilderness all night. When he got back in his wife asked him where he had
been all night. He answered, "Out in the wilderness", and his wife said,
"Sure!!" Do you get it?)
The children of Israel were in the wilderness three days
with no water. When they came to Marah, the water was bitter; iIt wasn't
fit to drink. So the people began to grumble and complain. This is a
simple message that goes like this. In days of dryness sometimes our faith
is bitter. Looking around I see people that are bitter. Nothing can
be accomplished through bitterness. If there is a seed of bitterness in
your heart it will grow and grow until it controls your life. There will
be things in your life that will cause you to become bitter, but to remain that
way is such a waste. We rob ourselves of the joys of life when we stay
bitter at the world. Having pity party after pity party will get you to
where someone can knock you down and walk over you. Don't lie there.
A wise man will get back up and will not let anything rob him of living today.
Let me say something to you this morning. If you
carry bitterness in your heart, you had better deal with it. If you don't
deal with it, the seed will grow. Before long it will cripple you.
Being bitter is no good to your family, no good to your church, no good to your
job, and certainly no good to God.
There were millions of Hebrew people, as well as thousands
of livestock, and the water was bitter -- so the people complained to Moses.
Being the good servant, Moses cried out to God. God led Moses to a tree;
when he put the tree into the water, the water became sweet. God can take
that deep dark bitterness in your life and make it sweet. I have found my
most joyful time is when I confess before God. Maybe someone has said
something against me and I feel down. You ask, "Do they talk about you,
Preacher?" The answer is, "They sure do!" It comes with the
territory but God put thick skin on my back. When attacks come toward me,
God's there to protect me. I'm reminded of a verse in John 15 where Jesus
says, "I am the true vine."
People can choose to become bitter and stay that way, or
they can choose to do things God's way and have sweet waters. I buried my
grandfather this week. In all my life not one person ever told me one
negative things about that man. Do good people die? Yes, they do.
Do good people suffer? Yes, they do. But you see, you can have the
temporary things of this life or you can be eternally blessed in the hereafter.
God says, "If they walk after me, I will give them all the sweet water they will
ever need. I f they walk after me, I will give them all the food they will
ever need. If they walk after me, I will give them houses they did not
build. If they walk after me, I will give them vineyards they didn't have
to plant. They are my people."
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two
evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out
cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
When you departs from the pathways of truth, you can
only expect bitterness. When you depart from the Lord God, from the house
of God, from talking to God, you can only expect bitterness. Jesus said,
"Ask of me and I will give you living water." Bitter water, earthly water,
useless water -- none of these will get you anywhere.
When the children of Israel moved to Elim there were twelve
wells and seventy palm trees, enough shade and water in the shadow of the
I choose not to drink bitter water. I choose not to
dwell on things that make me bitter. I will end with this example:
My wife and I had an argument this week. It was
mostly my fault. It was a case of mis-communication, something I had
simply forgotten to tell her. She was tired of that and she let me know
she was tired of that. So we argued about ten or fifteen minutes.
The I thought, "I'm not getting anywhere." So I sneaked up like a cat and
put my arms around here. I said, "Lisa, I don't want to argue."
You know people can take a simple little argument and be
mad for days, weeks, even years. They are drinking the bitter waters.
I choose not to drink the bitter waters or dwell on bitter things.
Do you have a bitterness you want to be rid of this
morning? It's easy to do that. Come to God and admit "I'm bitter;
I'm bitter because of circumstances in my life." Once you confess then
trust Him. All are made sweet when we turn things over to God.
Bro. Jr Fields........September 3, 2006.
Sermon edited by Mary King