daily-devotionalsReading: “The waters of Marah”—Exodus 15:23

We read in the history of Israel, that they had just before sung the song of salvation at the Red Sea when they had been redeemed and the enemy swallowed up. Three days they had traveled into the wilderness and found no water; and when they came to Marah, though water was there in abundance, yet they could not drink of it, for it was bitter. In this situation they cried unto the Lord and the waters they became sweet.

Pause now, and see what improving reflections you can gather from it. The Lord God hath brought you also out of spiritual Egypt, he hath led you through a new and living way, even the red sea of Christ’s blood, and you have begun the song of salvation also, to God and the Lamb. But when, like Israel, He is bringing you through the wilderness, where dispensations suited to a wilderness may be supposed to abound; how are you manifesting your faith and submission to Him? Reader, what is your answer to such a question?

I too often find, when the waters of life are like the waters of Marah, when what I proposed for my comfort turns out to my sorrow, and I discover a worm in the very bud of some sweet flower I have been rearing up for myself with great care, I feel rebellion rising within. I blush even now in the recollection of how often I have been tempted to call in question the divine faithfulness, and, like Israel, have taken offence, at some little difficulty I have met with, which afterwards I have discovered, was purposely put there by the Lord Himself, to manifest His watchfulness over me, and show how sure my dependence on Him is. Reader, does your heart find too much correspondence to this state of mine? Let us both then do as Israel did, when at any time our waters are like the waters of Marah. Let us cry to the Lord. Let us put the cross of Jesus into the stream, be it what it may, (for that is the tree which the Lord showed His people,) and never doubt that Jesus’ cross, though to Him more bitter than gall, yet to us will prove the sweetener of all our crosses. 

Taken from The Poor Man’s Evening and Morning Portions by Rev. Robert Hawker, Works, Vol. 8; 1830. Edited by Aaron Dunlop for thinkgospel.com ©2013.