Whatever happens don’t Murmur

Exo 15:22 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.

Exo 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

Exo 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

Exo 15:25 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,

Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ

The last few weeks I have been going through a lot of problems personally and officially. Through this all of the above verses kept coming into my mind continuously. Finally, I prayed and God revealed the backdrop and learning to these verses.

Prior to this incident in the Bible, the Children of Israelites experienced one of the greatest miracles God ever performed. Very few miracles come to this magnitude, where he split the red sea in two in front of the Egyptians and the Israelites. This miracle took place openly, probably in front of an estimated two million people. What a miracle it was! no one thought it will happen and the Israelites were getting ready for death when God did the unthinkable, the unimaginable.

Subsequently, they were so elated at this miracle, that they spent time singing songs as a congregation about God’s power and wonder (see beginning of Chapter 15).

After a few days of celebration, they moved on.

Exo 15:22 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.

They were led into the Desert of Shur, they were a vast number of people, and many scholars estimate it to be two million in  number. Regardless of the count, we know it was a massive swarm of people. Just imagine three days walking in a desert without water. We need to paint the picture to understand this.

Your children start to cry first, the weak start to faint, then even your spouse starts to give up and finally the strongest of men give up. What was happening was the ultimate test. At first, I personally don’t think they complained, at least the Bible does not say so. Probably because of the previous miracle they witnessed at the Red Sea. They may have kept strong by saying ‘no God will make a breakthrough’.

Today when looking back and reading, we can be quick to judge, but I think physically they were very strong in the Lord and held ground without complaining at the beginning.

Exo 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

After three days of suffering finally a break through! They may have been elated “God has saved us! God will never let us down. The water looks pure and clean, praise God let us rejoice and drink.” But to their ultimate dismay they could not Drink the water. It was bitter.

We must understand and relive in the spirit what the children of Israelites went through. So that we may use these experiences and be true to our heavenly father. I think the worst kind of despair is when you long for something desperately and finally you get it and jump with joy and claim it and only to discover it was not what you wanted, or sometimes it was worse than what you wanted.

The moment must have been heartbreaking. First a cry of Joy and then a cry of pain, all the children, old people, the sick, families, all in utter despair.

Exo 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

Then finally they complained. I think the children of Israelites were an amazing nation. They had the greatest zeal and passion for God and they were able to go to extraordinary lengths for God. I am sure that is why God loved them so much starting with the patriarchs. But with all that physical might they finally could not take it anymore.

They complained and murmured.

I am sure if it was you and me, we would not have even lasted the first three days, for that matter even a day or few hours. Praise be to Jesus for the cross and the Holy Spirt that we have grace.

Exo 15:25 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,

God knew what they were going through and he also had a solution ready. Everything was prepared and orchestrated. He will never put you in any situation and leave you helpless. However dire the situation may look like. You may feel like there is no hope anywhere. We can feel the water but we cannot drink it. ‘How in the world can we make it sweet, it is impossible’ But God had a special tree just for the purpose, planted by the wind in the desert probably fifty or hundred years prior to the journey. The solution defied every logical solution, it was unthinkable but yet it was possible. The moment the branch was cast in, it became sweet!

This was a clearly test from the Lord, it is mentioned in the Bible.

What is the branch? As we live in the New testament it is the cross of Calvary for you and me. Jesus was hung on a tree (Cross) Gal 3:13. The key thing to any problem you face, especially the ones as above, is to place it on the cross. Or in other words cast the cross in your problem and the same problem will become sweet.

Reading further on;

NIV translation says

There the LORD issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.

God is issuing a ruling, an instruction for them after they have failed the test and they have got the answer to the problem.

God tested how they will react.

They did not act proper, they murmured or grumbled.

1Co 10:10 And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel.

The word grumbled come from the original word of gogguzó

Which means;

goggýzō (an onomatopoetic term imitating the sound of cooing doves) – to murmur or mutter (grumble) with muffled undertones; (figuratively) murmur, grumble; to show “smoldering discontent” (Souter), droning on in a low, constant murmur.

One of the continuous issues of the Israelites was they grumbled. Grumbling is an annoying, irritating and ugly habit. If you know or have associated with someone who grumbles you will know how irritating this can be.

Grumbling does not add any value to a situation. It just creates a negative environment. Grumbling also shows discontentment, lack of faith and hatred to the person who you think has caused you distress.

As a baby Christian I think we get grace through the holy spirit and Jesus so that our infant grumbling is overlooked by God. But as we grow deeper in the life of faith I think there can be situations where God tests you and me to see if we are grumbling or murmuring. These tests can be tougher as we grow.

I think we need to look at the Israelites learn and make a commitment that whatever happens we should not grumble.

Our God who led us into the desert, knows when we will run out of water. He has already prepared a tree for us. We must make a firm resolve to have faith and move ahead with Joy without grumbling.

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