The Tree of Life – A Cure For Bittered Waters

We are familiar with the story of Moses leading the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. God had chosen Moses for this incredible task and communicated with Moses during this incredibly long journey. During this forty years of traveling from bondage to a land promised to them by God they endured many controversies and hardships. One of their most critical times during this journey was when they had been in the wilderness of Shur and had traveled three days without water. They were suffering from an almost intolerable thirst. How their hearts beat with joy when they came to Marah and saw water! Just as quickly as their hearts become joyful, despair came again because the waters of Marah were too bitter to drink. At this point they were physically weak and mentally distraught. Then Moses showed his greatness as a leader. Moses did not look down; that would have showed despair. He did not merely look around; that would have showed confusion. He was wise enough to look up; which showed confidence and courage. Because of Moses’ confidence in God, God supplied their need in a very critical situation. Exodus 15:25, “And Moses cried unto the Lord: and the Lord showed him a tree which when he cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet.”

All of us, sooner or later in life, come to Marah where we Tree of Life find bitter waters in the cup of human experience. We need to be like Moses and find the wisdom to look up and cry unto the Lord. What else can we do that would be better in our helplessness as we face life’s mysteries? We may not see at once the sun shining. We may have periods of surprise, loneliness, and emptiness of heart when we reach out vainly for lost possessions or departed loved ones. We may not at first be able to see reconciliation, because we try to understand instead of learning to trust, and so we may be inclined to murmur and complain against the providence of God. We see in this story how the grief of the trustful soul is changed. God still reveals to His people a tree of life which provides comfort and blessing, and life’s bitterest waters are made sweet.