Bible Reading – Exodus 15
Exodus 15:24-25 KJV
24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
25 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:
Exodus 15 begins and is mostly dedicated to chronicling Israel praising and thanking God for a miraculous victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea. But after three days, a depleted water supply, and an experience in uncertainty, the Children of Israel began to murmur. The people were desperate for water, and the waters of Marah deceived them. The Bible says the waters were bitter, which some believe meant that the water was possibly brackish. Instead of satisfying their thirst, the water was probably salty, making their thirst even greater. What they thought to be the solution to their problem actually ended up amplifying it. Similarly, the world often attempts to satisfy spiritual longings only to find their solutions making the emptiness worse.
It is at this point where God gives Moses the remedy, which seems to man to be a ludicrous solution. God told Moses to cast a tree into the water. There is a principle in God’s physical creation where salt tends to flow into the least concentrated area. If you connected a salty body of water with a pure body of water or pure object, the salt content would flow into the pure body of water, while the pure water would flow into the saltier body. I do not know for certain how it worked (other than simply to say it was a miracle of God), but I can only imagine that somehow when the tree entered the waters, it was such a pure tree that the bitterness of Marah was absorbed into its branches, and that which was pure in the tree flowed into the once bitter waters. The tree took all the bitterness, and made the water sweet.
As the account of the waters at Marah ends, God interjects a wonderful phrase in verse twenty-six, “…I am the Lord that healeth thee.” In this phrase we notice one of the names of God, Jehovah Rapha, God Who heals and restores. Just as the tree healed and restored the waters at Marah, the death of Christ on the cross has the power to heal and restore. While it baffles our human minds that God would use a tree to purify waters and a cross to purify souls, God’s ways and miracles are better than our ways and methods. Christ, in His absolute purity, took all the bitterness of sin upon Himself and clothed us in His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
— Eli Faulds