Shobha Sridhar Luke
Jehovah Rapha; Turning the Bitter into Sweet
Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”).
Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink.
It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” - Exodus 15:22-26
As Moses placed the wood in the bitter water of Marah we are told that it became “sweet.” Likewise, we see that Christ’s death has the same effect on the lives that He touches; that is, the bitter is turned to sweet.
As Christ casts a light in the darkness of our past He transforms hurt to forgiveness and freedom; He transforms sin into humility, thankfulness, and wisdom; He turns our weakness into strength as we depend on Him.
This is interesting. Please note say that the Israelites did remember the bitterness of the stream from which they were to drink. Their memory of the bitterness remained, but what they tasted was sweet. Remembering the bitterness while simultaneously tasting the sweetness allowed the Israelites to live in awe of God’s power and goodness while cultivating thankfulness.
Remember, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Allowing the Spirit to change our minds so that what we taste is the sweetness of God’s redemption rather than the bitterness of the memory itself is the task to which we are called.
About the author:
Shobha Sridhar Luke: A lover of God's presence, a daughter of the kingdom, living life through the Word of God. She is a part of the Kingdom Vision
team. She loves reading books!! “Seek above all the Kingdom of God and Christ’s kind of justice..” (my paraphrase of Matt 6:33 ).