When they came to Marah, they finally found water. But the people couldn’t drink it because it was bitter. (That is why the place was called Marah, which means “bitter.”)
We know from the biblical account of Israel’s exodus from Egypt that Moses grew weary of the Israelites’ constant grumbling. Though they experienced many miracles on their wilderness journey, distasteful experiences and feelings of being robbed or cheated had left them bitter. Esau, too, developed a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15-17 KJV) because he felt Jacob had stolen his birthright. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, changed her name to Mara (or bitter) because she lost her husband and two sons through death (Ruth 1:20). Bitterness can happen to anyone who has been hurt. Reflections of the past can pour back into our minds, spilling poison into the waters of our relationships. But God can turn bitterness into blessing. That’s just what He did when he showed Moses a tree that made the bitter waters sweet. The cross of Jesus can be thrown into any bitter pool and its waters made sweet. In their darkest hour, Paul and Silas chose to praise God in the Philippian prison (Acts 16:25), and God made their bitter waters sweet. Only the cross of Christ will keep you free from the root of bitterness as well as the fruit of bitterness: disease. Let the cross sweeten your waters today. Be healed, emotionally and physically, from the waters of Marah.