Exodus 15:22-25 “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: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.”
As in life, scriptural bitterness means the opposite of sweet, here we see actual water, but has significance prophetically.
Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
Bitterness comes by means of unbearable pain, usually at the hands of another, suffering with no hope of escape, or oppression. The root word for bitter, which is mara, is even associated with poison. Bitter is the natural condition of all mankind since the fall. We are unable to save ourselves, unable to change ourselves, unable to shuck off our bitter existence, even if we don’t recognize it as bitter.
Psalm 19:7-11 “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”
Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
We can see from the Psalmist that the words of Torah are what changes the hearts and minds of men. True, meaningful, and lasting transformation usually only occurs in man during a time of personal wilderness experience. The time that God uses to prove us, to mature us, we might have once described as normal, familiar, or comfortable existence ceases for us. A time of being betwixt and between; it’s neither where you’ve come from, nor where you’re going.
We are no longer to live by our own appetites or our emotions. We must learn to disconnect from the world’s priorities, the world’s definition of success and the world’s values. We begin to structure our lives around and upon YHVH’s instructions for living.
Psalm 50:6 “And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.”
The first thing all of us need is UNLEARN the way of survival that we have developed in the world, which was to always do the things, as well as, spend our time, energy and passions building the things that please men. This is the “feel good” lifestyle.
We need secondly and simultaneously to start learning what it is to please YHVH, his likes and dislikes, as our Creator He alone knows what is “bad” and what is “good”. It is there that we see things as they are, according to what YHVH has said is right, proper and just.
2 Peter 2:20 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
The words translated into “law and judgments” are the Hebrew words ‘choq’ and ‘mishpat’. Choq means a prescribed task, or a prescribed rule in the same sense of what today we would call a law. Conversely, a mishpat is a judicial ruling. It’s about a judge looking at a case and making a decision, therefore, a mishpat is often the result of a choq being violated.
Now comes the Messiah, who is hung onto a piece of wood, His precious blood spilled all over it. The Greek word baptizmo, or baptize, means to immerse; when a cloth has been ‘baptizmo’ into a vat of dye, the cloth takes on the characteristics of that which it was immersed.
The cloth is forever changed and so it is with those who are crucified with Yeshua; His wooden cross, immersed into our bitter lives, transforms our lives and makes them sweet and free from the oppression of the power of sin. This is the picture intended at the spring of Marah, out in the wilderness.