The Disappointment at Marah

Exodus 15

The Song of Redemption

This is the song of the Redeemed.

Before a person can praise God, he must know Him.

Praise came after salvation. Apply.

They saw, they believed, they sang. Exodus 14:31, 15:1.

1. Psalm 40—Feet are taken from the horrible pit, before a new song fills the mouth.

2. Luke 15—The prodigal received the Father’s kiss before they began to be merry.

3. Acts 8—In Samaria they believed the Word before the city was filled with joy.

4. Acts 8—The Ethiopian eunuch believed and then went on his way rejoicing.

The Reason for Singing v. 1-10

v. 21 Led by Miriam the nation sang.

Sing ye to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously;

the horse and his rider has been cast into the sea.

Compare the great universal song of the redeemed. Rev. 5:13-14.

The Disappointment at Marah 15:22-27

This is a new phase in the experience of Israel.

They are now in the wilderness, v. 22.

Note the stages of this redemption.

1. By Blood—Passover

2. By Power—Red Sea

3. By Experience—Wilderness

Note the three aspects of our salvation.

1. Saved from the penalty of sin.

2. Saved from the power of sin.

3. Saved from the presence of sin.

See 2 Corinthians 1:10.

“Who delivered us from so good a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that He will yet deliver.”

The newly delivered nation is now on its way to Canaan.

Canaan is not a type of heaven, but is of the heavenlies.

This is the place of which Paul speaks five times in Ephesians.

It is the place where spiritual believers live.

The forces of evil have access to this sphere. Ch 6-12.

Canaan was full of adversaries also.

Look now at the situation of this nation.

1. Canaan is before them.

2. Egypt is behind them.

3. The Red Sea lies between them and Egypt.

These people were called out by God and separated to God.

Their first experience in the wilderness was walking for three days without water.

There was always plenty of water in Egypt.

They murmured, v. 24, despite the fact that the cloud was there, despite God’s display of power in Egypt and deliverance at the Red Sea.

They doubted God’s ability to meet this need, 1 Corinthians 10.

The singing people of the Red Sea became the sinning people of Marah.

The water was bitter, v. 23.

v. 25 Moses cried to the Lord. Prayer: our Marah’s drive us to prayer. See Psalm 107.

Answered prayer. The Lord showed him a tree.

When this tree was cast into the bitter waters, they became sweet.

Their need was met by God (Old Testament miracle).

Note the words, “there He tested them,” v. 25.

They had failed in this first test in the wilderness.

Let us now look at the spiritual lesson.

As the believer journeys from the earth to heaven he will be tested.

“In the world you shall have tribulation.”

God has many things to teach His people in the wilderness.

Testings are not necessarily punitive, sometimes they are educative and always for our spiritual well-being and maturing.

The world, for the spiritual believer is a wilderness, drear and wild, fraught with difficulties.

The wilderness experience teaches us two lessons at least.

1. We get to know the way of God.

2. We learn that God can meet every emergency.

When we meet these dark trials and come to the place of impasse, there are two things we can do.

1. We can murmur. 2. We can trust.

Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.

Moses was equally baffled with the circumstances.

But, “he cried to the Lord.”

The Lord immediately showed him a tree.

When he cast that tree into the waters, they became sweet.

The tree is a type of Christ. Home in Bethany.

He can make the bitter waters sweet. See Hebrews 4:15-16.

Example: The paralytic in London. “Count your blessings.”

Acts 16: Paul and Silas in prison. “Prayed and sang praises unto God.”

Daniel 3: three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. “One like unto the Son of God.”

Daniel 6: Daniel in the den of lions. “God shut their mouths.”

2 Kings 6: Elisha at Dothan. “Open the eyes of this young man.”

The Sweetness of Elim

From Marah they then journeyed to Elim.

The oasis of Elim had twelve wells and seventy palm trees.

Elim was not Canaan, but it was a foretaste of the time when they would dwell in the land.

We too have our Elim’s and they are especially sweet after the bitter waters of Marah.

Peter links “suffering and glory” four times in his first epistle.

Sometimes our Marahs and our Elims are near each other also.

Example: The disciples enjoyed the calm after so great a storm.

Mary and Martha must have been overjoyed as they sat at a meal with the Lord and their brother Lazarus.

It will be the same with us when He hushes the storms of life to rest and we rise with our loved ones. When our blessed Savior welcomes us home we shall know perfect joy.