Three Tests in the Wilderness Part 1: Bitter Water – Exodus 15:22-27

This Sunday we return to Exodus Ch 15:22-27. Last time we left the Israelites they were praising and worshiping the Lord for His great victory over both Pharaoh and Egypt and also their salvation. In our text, which is part of three trials they face in the wilderness that covers Ch 15:22 to Ch 17:7, we see the Lord leads the people to bitter waters after three days journey in the desert. While this was a trial from the Israelites perspective we find out in v 25 that the Lord tested their faith. The people failed that test by grumbling to Moses. Moses then intercedes and the Lord turns the bitter waters to sweet waters. Our text in Exodus is full of God’s grace to His people. It speaks of salvation, sanctification, and even a foretaste of glorification of Israel all done by our loving God.

When we fail, as we often do, we can be assured the Lord has a purpose and that purpose is that we would grow more into His image. We, like Israel in our text, are in the wilderness called the world. In this world we also face trials of various kinds, some we fail and grow, and some by His grace we pass and also grow. Through these trials and valleys we are slowly conformed into His image. Brothers and sisters where would we be without trials? It’s through these trials we learn to depend on the Lord and not on our own merits.

Please meditate on our text this week and pray the Lord would bless His word.

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.


One thought on “Three Tests in the Wilderness Part 1: Bitter Water – Exodus 15:22-27

  1. When we are being tested by the trials of life that our Lord has allowed to enter into our lives, it is never our circumstance that is the issue before our heavenly Father, but our faith and trust in Him. So, if I have cancer and it obviously becomes a worry and a trial, what effect is the cancer having on my faith is the important issue before God? Our circumstances, regardless of their outcomes, are simply passing away as are our very lives. God wants us to trust completely and totally in His love and sovereignty and He will allow those trials to remain until that issue has been resolved. In His love, He can resolve the trial or He can leave the trial or make it worse. Our worldly circumstances are never the issue; only He is. But, in order for our faith to be tested, the circumstances being used to test it have to be real or even imagined and something that is personally painful or apprehensive to us. And, we are all different, so I should never look at my brothers or sisters as if they are weak because of what constitutes anxiety to them. If we look at the book of Job, we realize that satan’s goal was to cause Job to deny God and his love for Him; he failed. Unfortunately, he has won that battle so often in my walk with my Lord.

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