“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. 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. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 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… (Exodus 15:22-25)
Water of Marah was located in the desert encroached area. One can hardly find a flowing river in the desert. Usually, the only type of water that one can find in the desert encroached area is known as oasis. An oasis is a pool of water surrounded by desert. God created everything perfect for His glory. The water in the oasis of Marah was not originally created to be bitter in taste. Generally, in the desert area there is constant wind blowing the sand and the garbage. When wind blows garbage, it always gather in the lower-level ground land in the area usually in the oasis. After many years of gathering garbage into the oasis the water becomes polluted which changed the original taste of freshness of the water to a bitter one. This was the possible explanation of the nature of Water of Marah when the Israelites located it in the Wilderness of Shur.
The people of God complained bitterly against Moses when they were thirsty. Moses cried unto God in His prayers. “… and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters.” God showed Moses a tree. Moses then must have cut the tree before he cast it into the waters. Let us pause here a little bit and think. The name of the tree was not mentioned in the passage. Specifically, God pointed unto Moses proverbially that a supernatural external agent of sweetening must be cast into the bitter water before it can become sweet. We all know that before liquid lime can become lemonade, sugar, the external agent of sweetening must be added onto the liquid lemon juice. That was what happened when Moses followed the commandment of God and cast the unnamed tree into the Water of Marah.
But have you wondered why some of the names of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament included the Branch? “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:1-2) The word Branch originated from a living and growing tree, not a dead tree. Humanity was perfect created in the image of the Living God at the beginning. Sweetness and peace abounded in man until mankind allowed the garbage of sinfulness, worldliness and unrighteousness into his life. The end thereof was bitter like the Water of Marah. Solution to this spiritual problem could not be unraveled by man until the divine supernatural intervention of God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Branch of the Living Tree of Life stepped into the life of man.
Jesus Christ, the Branch, is the Divine Supernatural and external intervention of God that made difference in the life of humanity. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4) He is the one that turned the bitter lemon of sorrow and pains of our lives that emanated as the consequences of our sins into a sweet lemonade of His mercy and love through the redemption package of the gift of His salvation.
One sat alone beside the highway begging,
His eyes were blind, the light he could not see;
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows,
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee
When Jesus comes the tempter’s pow’r is broken;
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.
—by Oswald Jeffrey Smith (1889-1986)
The first stanza of the above song described the bitter state of life of the blind man. The blind is synonymous to a sinner who has lost touch of the blessing and divine intervention of God. Like the blind man, the solution to his blindness was oblivion unto him until Jesus Christ stepped into the arena of his life. Like the way Water of Marah was turned into a sweet and drinkable water after Moses cast the “tree” into it, the glooming situation of your life will be taken away, and your life will be turned around and filled with glory if you can allow Jesus Christ to have His way in your life as you embrace salvation today. If you are experiencing any bitterness or painful situation in your life, get a piece of supernatural agent of sweetness which is Jesus Christ into it, the bitter situation will change, and your joy will be restores.
Prayer: Oh Lord God of my salvation, I humbly invite your presence to my situation this hour, let your mercy permeate in my life and turn around the confusion and unpleasant situation in my life around to reveal the beauty of your glory. Please Lord, fill the emptiness of my life with the fullness of your joy, in Jesus name, Amen.