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Exodus 15:23,25 + 1 Peter 2:24

Exodus 15:23,25 + 1 Peter 2:24
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Exodus 15:23,25, “…they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter…and YHWH showed [Moses] a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.”

Directly following the Lord’s miraculous, self-revelatory redemption of His people from Egypt through the Red Sea, we come to an unexpected narrative vignette in Exodus 15:22-27.

The basic outline is that the people are thirsty (v.22), they find water, but it is bitter (poison?) (v.23). In response, Moses cries to the Lord (v.24) and is shown a tree that YHWH tells him to throw into the bitter waters.. When he does, the water becomes sweet (v.25).

Then, in verses 25b-26, we see the Lord’s own explanation of what was happening:

“…[at Marah] He tested them, saying, ‘If you will diligently listen to the voice of YHWH your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am YHWH your healer.’”

So, God says that Marah was a test to show the people that IF they are obedient THEN the Lord would guard them from disease, because He is their healer. My question is this: How was that lesson taught at Marah?

We could get drawn into a long discussion about the conditional / unconditional nature of God’s various promises to His people…but, at the very least—and all I wanted to point out this morning—is that the sweetening of the bitter waters seems to be an example of the Lord being the healer of His people….and this is significant.

I don’t think its a coincidence that in the very same passage in which YHWH is declared to be the Healer of His people, we also find a tree cast into a bitter abyss in order to make sweet water that sustains life….this seems to be a foreshadowing of that great Healing work that YHWH incarnate will work on a tree for all who hope in Him….

1 Peter 2:24, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds we are healed.”