Monday, March 21, 2011

Exodus 15:26 NASB

"If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer."

Have you ever gone three days without water?  This would be to suffer.  That's what happened to the Israelites as they made their way from the Red Sea into the wilderness of Shur.  They went three days and found no water (Exodus 15:22).  It doesn't make for happy campers. And then, when they finally found water, it was so bitter they couldn't drink it, which gave it the name "Marah" (bitterness).  But there was more than water that was bitter.  There was a bitterness of heart, which always finds someone to blame.  The writer says, "the people began to grumble against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?'" (15:24).  One would think they had good reason because, after all, three days without water is a desperate situation.  Why does God, so often, let us get to the point of desperation?  The writer gives only one reason here, and I think it's probably the same reason most every time.  Just this:  "There He tested them," (15:25).  Often times, God will allow us to come to the end of the rope to test our hearts, to see what's in it. The easy times don't prove anything.  But hard times have a way of exposing the heart's true makeup.  For some reason, God wants to see what comes out under pressure, but I imagine He also wants us to see it as well.  There's nothing more disturbing than failure to act as we claim we would act.  It should create a different kind of desperation, not of deliverance from the circumstances but of deliverance from the sickness of our heart.  What comes up out of your heart under pressure? The question is, "can God do something about it?"  The promise to Israel is, "I, the LORD, am your healer."  As God "healed" the bitter water, and as God helps us in a bitter world, so God wants to heal the bitter heart.  He is a wonderful God, always doing what is best for His own.  The joy is, He can.  We have every right, not to grumble, but to come to Him in prayer for the deep hurts and needs of our life.  He wants to bring healing that goes as deep as the soul, for He said, "I, the LORD, am your healer."  Take Him at His word. 

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