“Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.” – Exodus 15:25
It is days away from the end of the month and the re-opening of school, with new adventures, financial stress and that anxiety of not being able to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. But apart from all that, our text is giving us some good news – the bitterness of all that financially plagues you will soon come to an end as God is about to turn bitterness into sweetness.
When I began to write this column some 20-plus years ago, the Lord gave me the name “Along Life’s Road”. He said that we are on a journey and the pathway is called life and there are hazards as we travel, but we must keep our spiritual eyes open for maneuvering.
One song suggested that life was not promised always to be a rose garden or peaceful waters, fun and laughter void of crosses, temptations and races that are void of hurdles. But each new day is an opportunity to press onward to the mark of the high calling of newness in all areas of endeavor.
In our text today, Moses, with the help of God, had just been victorious over Pharaoh and his army. Down by the seaside, bodies fully regaled in army gear and strapped down in saddles were floating. It was time for in-gathering of gold taken from dead bodies. It is amazing how, in times of our lives, our blessings come from strange and rejected places and people. Sometimes it may be the raven; as it is not about the raven, but what is in the mouth of the raven.
Moses’ sister Miriam was so overwhelmed by what God had done for his people, that she assembled a pop band heavy with percussion and the national dance troupe was formed. On the other hand, Moses, as composer, backed up with the mass choir of the Children of Israel, sang the lead tenor solo in a national song of praise and thanksgiving.
“I will sing unto the Lord for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation. He is my God.” (Exodus 15:1-2) After three days of national festivities, it was back to business as usual for the Children of Israel. The scripture says that they went out into the wilderness of Shur and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters for they were bitter. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” It is no new thing for leaders to be plunged into the sea of complaints from the people, but the leader must be in touch with the supreme leader for answers, sometimes, for an angry people. It is not about legislation, but salvation.
Moses cried unto the Lord as numerous complaints were made, even to the extent that they wished they were back in Egypt, and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. God always has the right answer for your every situation.
Have no fear – God is a god of quickly and suddenly. Whatever is/are your problem or problems today, don’t light a red candle, or have your palm read or seek out the soothsayers and false prophets and obeah workers; cry out to God. His ears are attuned to your earnest cries. If you are hurting, cry – and let God know that you are really hurting. God will show you what to do even if it is that empty pot that can be used to cook a good pot of peas and rice. People will always be hungry and people will always support good cooking.
It may be only a little bit of a meal or a little oil for the woman laden with debts, but God can turn it into a service station. It may only be five little rolls and two sardines, but it can be turned into a buffet table.
My soul is dancing because God is about to turn some bitterness into sweetness; some weeping into joy; some night into day; some sadness into gladness; some poverty into wealth; sickness into health; hate into love; and laughter and loneliness into positive relationship. Bless the Lord, O my soul!