Share This Episode
More Than Ink Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin Logo

091 - Afflicted With Bitterness

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2022 1:00 pm

091 - Afflicted With Bitterness

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 127 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 23, 2022 1:00 pm

Episode 091 - Afflicted With Bitterness (23 April 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman
More Than Ink
Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the is there something here for me.

I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than expectations are. I get mad and then I look for someone to blame the shape today on good morning and welcome to our dining table and Dorothy and I'm Jim and I won't mention that were uttered okay but actually copy in front of us and I like my coffee a little bit sweet, which is interesting because today were coming into this passage is refacing better water that was very, makes your well okay it makes your head spin. How fast it moved from this incredible celebration of Christ we who are singing and celebrating God's right hand, and all agreed that step away from the beach the first place they come to three days in the wilderness of the water and may collect are better better better rats than me in the meaning of the name orange. So now were going to talk about grumbling back about three to talk about this with which we move.

Is this just because we had. We were on the seashore on the opposite side seizure on the Red Sea Egyptian army is dead we have is great celebration in the desert. We got singing. We got dancing. We got tambourines God is great.

Everything is wonderful what happened quickly.

They forgot what God had done and and that is the question when, how quickly do we get life God's promised us and what he has done for Moses tells us how short a time. This is really sore today as we pick up a story in chapter 15 verse 22 we are three days after Great celebration and you will be amazed there probably still do so. Well, okay, we painted a bleak picture that's got this is get into all reports written verse 22 of chapter 15 three days after the great celebration will then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea and they went into the wilderness of shore and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water when they came tomorrow they could not drink the water of tomorrow because it was better therefore it was named Mara that's what it means in Hebrew and the people grumbled against Moses, saying, what shall we drink and he cried to the Lord and the Lord showed him along and he threw it into the water in the water became sweet so they have this first encounter in the in the three-day walk into the desert and they have no water.

Dave slurped up everything they were carrying all the all the canteens are empty all their water bottles or idea. Now they need water.

And they do come to water but when they tasted the go can't get SS yes is it interesting that three times in that single verse came there and that water. Mara was better. They couldn't drink it, and that's why it was named Mara better better better better and you might actually notice the fact that their hearts become embittered to well yeah you know it's interesting that bitterness comes about when you're expectations of not been met. That's right inside that really is the root of bitterness. I expected something and it didn't happen and I get a bite down on that bitter little nugget just got it better you nurture your and you feed it and you say you know this is unfair and I'm right and I deserve this and you know it's not a matter of gross expectations as a matter of things are supposed to go my way and they're not going.

It's very interesting to me on when I looked start looking at this word bitterness that Moses in Deuteronomy at the end of Deuteronomy when he's talking to the people he includes this idea bitterness being effect of turning away from the Lord. When you turn away from the Lord. It is a better thing. It makes you better and you are bitterness causes you to continue turning away Lord isn't that how it really works some insured hole deeper and deeper and deeper in your bitterness. So that's in Deuteronomy 29 if you want to look that up and he respects up actually that very same idea. Hebrews 1215 about this route of bitterness right some little hair flying tendril that you been nurturing that suddenly springs into blog entry and one nights many bitterness views on everybody you can cultivate bitterness is what he saying from Hebrews filter you water it. You can for life that you can.

I mean you can just dwell on it and say what was me.

What was me is horrible so and bitterness needs a scapegoat right so I don't blame the Moses blame was 24 grumbled against Moses and so Moses as their leader. He cries out to God, he does what he should do what what is this, you've brought us out here.

We need water and rent water that we can't drink yeah yeah yeah I think it's fascinating to the many times you know in our grumbling happens because we expect something to happen and then when it looks like it's going to happen like here look like/it's not what we expected. That's that's a perfect recipe for and for grumbling alike. I'm stuck. I think it's fascinating hereto that they don't grumble against God probably know the they probably shouldn't do that. Maybe you are as you and I think what they do when the grumbling is Moses instead of God are basically saying you really connected to God. I mean you're leaving us are happy because use you up to this point, but maybe you've lost your mojo or something.

Maybe the connection with God's done some really grumble against you.

I think you're not listening to God willing, I think that's why they grumble against him and not got this experience being led by Moses into the well. This is a brand-new. Oh yeah, right. They this is this all knew they've never been in a situation in the wilderness of shore alike.

I like to say the wilderness of unsure just don't know really going to know what was happening. I mean, they literally have to follow God think of the they don't know and Moses mouthpiece so okay this is not unfamiliar with this region because we know that when he came out of Egypt. The first time when Pharaoh chased him out because he had murdered that guy. He had strayed across this very region and winds up over in Midian right we covered that in the early part of exit and he had pastured sheep down here in the Sinai Peninsula so he was. This is territory that is relatively familiar for Moses. Yet it was new for them.

The wilderness of shore wilderness, meaning writers are fueling a rapport and I'm nowhere yeah yeah and it made me think maybe think choose a song that says I think I looked it up with some 78 how often they rebelled against in the wilderness. Yeah. So this is the first time they rebelled against them in the wilderness or or another part in Hebrews.

You can help me here I think is chapter 3, or forward says he put God to the test. Yeah in the wilderness and this is the first of many of those so so here we have this problem.

You have been bethink to this Mara thing this is bitterness thing. Remember in the book of Ruth, Naomi, at the beginning yes she says don't call me Naomi and I'll mail me. Mara means bitter life is been better for me and I am better. She had a really rough go there losing her husband, her sons and stuff like that. She's got her daughter-in-law's left by me and still she says don't call me only rankle me Mara's things are bad.

What if you know the story of Ruth. If you haven't read the story for chapters in the sink go there when you get a chance will just take you like, 15, 20 minutes. Well, maybe you longer that, but it's just a such a great story that starts from this downer were Naomi is just because her expectations again is that you have a family I sons and daughters.

In all, and you know kids no grandchildren yeah has great expectations and God had rescued her and her husband from from famine and now they relocated and she's expecting things are going be fine. Got it saved us, but then all this happens her expectations were just dashed right and she says call me bitter because that's who I am and that's where the Israelites are right here.

Hey there expectations have been but they come to this spring, so when you make of the fact that the Lord shows Moses a log or a tree would have some kind right right and he throws it into the water in the water becomes sweet is what the text says that means pleasant or drink during palatable yeah yeah it doesn't have sugar and bacon that chemicals yeah I think that's fascinating because if I was writing the story, I'd have God say, okay, I'll take you to places right next her that we do have water but instead he transforms transforms the situation like he's transformed in the past instead of bait and switch necessarily basically bring them to a place which will provide good water, but we have to wait for God to transform the situation well and this very thing that was better becomes a source of sweetness.

Yeah pleasantness to them and that echoes a lot of repetition in the Scriptures was that you know I'll tear your morning into dance Asia I will exchange your sorrow for joy. I will exchange her. Ashley says that picture of God transforming the unpalatable and edible thing that's not an provide for us. Yet he will transform this week we find yourself in bad circumstances, and in the question many times he comes your mind is why didn't God either deter me around this right. Poor situation. I mean, why did why did he allow me to get stuck in this situation, and in this particular case, the question arises, will meet maybe was delivered. Not maybe it was to last delivery was deliberate and this is the first time that God will take a situation like this and say together transforms these things.

I'm not taking with the dead and somehow I got a dead end.

So I need to transform it. Why is there the log.

I don't know it's interesting, some commentators see here is a very veiled reference to the woodshed of all across which God transforms.

Now that's yes maybe it will why we can't say for certain, but there is a hint here that is why throw wood well and it ended further that speculation can I find answers very interesting, but the wood that they found was probably wood that was killed by the poisoned water so it's it's wood that might've died because of the water itself. So here you go with that has died and now has brought life to dead water, God says, throw this deadwood in a wide area and I'll transform you can go for days in the spelling list so the my goodness. In fact, I remember I remember a while ago reading a commentators say this is what can tell you what happened to the water was chemically transformed in the probably had been using minute. It probably would would do this to admit it was what you can to the conclusion that that based on his chemistry. The whole thing. This is all speculation right but based on his chemistry analysis of what probably happened right here with the magnesium. All can stuck is it made the water slightly laxative and as a result is expected but but but it was made slightly laxative so basically God was cleansing their system, so he got them out of Egypt, but this is how we get Egypt out of the people to take another generation. But I mean this this is just fraught with lots of speculation is just a fascinating thing bring bring the login through the water. There is no commentary that you know at that at the end of verse 25 says there in that day there that place. The Lord made for them a statute and a rule there and there he tested test proved to them that word contains the idea of the way you asked, say, a metal exactly right tested them to prove what was in them not to himself, which are made so verse 26 I live saying if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God do that which is right in his eyes and give ear to his commandments and all his statutes.

I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord your healer right I I will heal you of your bitterness the same way. I healed her right so he's giving them this very visual very tasteful tasty point of reference. God can transform but I something else I want and then I'll shut up now is that in verse 26 to really important of Kerr Hiroshima and Shemar Schumann listen listen listen listen with a heart that is ready to obey. Listen up, and then he says keep my statutes that should mark that's this word that means to guard regarding is important to pressure and yes it means to him by obeying his kind of a secondary meaning. Watch over keep them guard them regarding them as central and important to God says here's the thing. If you listen to me and respond properly to my word, then you will discover that I am your healer exactly yeah is just an amazing statement here.

Standing at the better spring and I'll double_that keep all my statutes. You know, the keep. We always go to obey is a piece of this action most often gets translated that way in there and there's nothing wrong with that, but the heart of the word really means to treasured so much a menu embraces so much. Of course, you keep your course watch right because it's true. So you know as as further laws come down the pike we get no further than the exes processing got said you need to do this you not not do that right. You know the response really ought to be from a pure heart ought to be, well, you know God in this for our best so I you know what he's told us in the past has been for our health and our blessedness will is just embraces to we can't see the end of this but God's God on our side got the board.

He's our he's Jehovah rougher. He's our healer, soulless, just realize that this is for God, not our bed and we often look at God's Commandments of God's laws and say why God's justice spoilsport you know he's keeping right he's keeping me from good because of these laws in effect what he saying here is no these laws are for your health and for your good to just embrace because that's where the camera and that's the teaching moment right here with my good I am good so you know do and I like I says what you need to do is do that which is right in his right not right and wrong.

I this not just a side comment about the fact that our own site is usually self-destructive. We don't really know what's good for us and their eyes are on us exactly so we will make wrong choices.

So if you want to find help and blessing. You don't just give give some treasuring love to what God says and that's what he said listen up the word of God penetrate a small listen, listen, what's going on, so sure enough, he says that this is he's testing them. He's he's changing them he's purifying them in this process and I really like the fact that he says that I'm on the Lord your healer. That's that's Jehovah rougher. That's one of the many different compound words from God is your healer and fact when you get further on we start talking about laws that God will establish for the newly newly formed country of Israel, and he gives them a lot of loss at which we now from our scientific background know were actually scientifically medically wise, which they would know about you know like different food laws different quarantine laws.

You know some ranking to quarantine them different about washing your hands with running water as opposed to pewter audit even you know some people speculate the circumcision itself was also a health issue really. So, although some minor part of that. But you know but what God is going to tell him to do as a nation listen to what I'm saying it's good for and this is good for you and that we can look back and say yeah well we affirm that it was good for them but they had no clue time that that the test is will you embrace what I say treasure what I say follow what I say because it is really for your good, not for your people and prior to this when they were in Egypt. They had no codified law.

Had they only they knew the promises to Abraham right God had reiterated those promises to them back in Exodus 6, but they had no code of law, and so that's that's one of the primary things God gave them when he brought them out into the wilderness, separated them from Egypt.

He gave them his law. He gave them manna, right, which becomes a huge picture where it will get into that in a couple weeks and then he gave them the tabernacle he gave his visual place of of reference for God is among us right in our midst. Through this sacrifice we can be in his presence so you know here's come to the beginning of that you listen to me and treasure what I tell you and act on it. I will hear you just like God healed the water. That's why coastal section being afflicted with bitterness is not just the watermark that's afflicted with bitterness, but their hearts are as well in terms of doubting God's likeness to them. They forgotten what he promised him three days ago. I will bring you out, I will deliver you. I will take you to the land or I promise you this is in Exodus 6 right and I will I will I will I will do this for you, like lower out here what you drink really die there after, that is, see what you would like that just 60 days and it doesn't matter how big and important. The event was that we came from. I'm still forget this. This made me think of just kind of an association. Psalm 103 that says you know you we have benefits know who forgives all your iniquity and who heals all so this is what God told about God's in the gods in the business of feeling okay and ultimate the disease with which we are genuinely afflicted from birth is sensing itself were not talking about God will heal your every cold and every broken leg as you get better. And Jesus did maintain this incredible ministry of healing but it was in order to point to the ultimate healing that everyone of us requires. And that is the healing from our sin, the disease of sin will this push on so we get to verse 27 and now they came to Elam came to Elam where there were 12 springs of water and 70, palm trees and then camped there by the water. What why do we just go there for well because apparently was very far away, but it does it does reinforce the fact that we just so happened that Mara was a deliberate teaching moment right and that God could have completely sidestepped the Mara event by taking directly to you so I wonder if you know this this better spring and Mara that was the first place they encountered the minute that their thermoses were empty. Okay, they were there city and they were afraid and suddenly they were there when had they just believed God, and continue to walk with walked right into a lame yes. I don't know that speculation on my part, but you're right that brought them to the better spring in order to speak to them provides for this really beautiful way, since it's not a stretch to say that God will many times deliberately take us in trouble places for the purposes of getting her ear and said that but here it is again. Here it is again because right next door is Elam and I don't going straight over there so if God was in the business of just making us comfortable, he would've gone to you right, but since God wants to changes in the process he takes them tomorrow.

While I hate to think of that because then I think how many other deliberate things is gonna take me into that would rather not experience or experience ever again right, but the outcome of it in terms of changing who I am in and hearing God's voice happens or could you notice here healing, there is no great teaching that comes out now you know how long we were there right, but there is teaching the comes up tomorrow yes and and it echoes all the way to the Bible so okay was put on. We got to then verse one of chapter 16. They sent after me lame and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of sin, which is between a lame and sign on the 15th day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. So they departed from Egypt on the 15th day of the first month it's only been a month, verse two, and the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and the people of Israel said to them that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt.

When we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the fall for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger and grumble, grumble, self-pity, and blame. We just walked away from the palms in the way says that's for the script were back right there again month that each of this.

This will this will recur as they wandered so big grumble against Moses and Aaron. You brought up an interesting question the other day about wise they didn't eat their animals because the flock right everything brought flocks with in and I thought about that and my only good explanation is the fact that they are actually going hungry yet they're anticipating being hungry yeah that's right which are so the command of this wilderness areas and we don't see any opportunity for food out.

Here's a world I die out here and we knew they look for it, just like the canteens. When empty, and the right to section another realizing the fox could go empty. Pretty soon, so what are we doing. I think it's could be anticipation. That's Jim's explanation, but I'm not sure, but they do have lots of flocks of animals, but they were accustomed to living where resources were easily come by. Yeah, usually develop civilized place and now they're out the middle of nowhere and they realize that there's a difference between the Nile Delta and the sands of the wilderness out here and see himself against the Lord grumble against Moses.

They blame Moses and Aaron and they wallow in their self-pity died in Egypt when we had access to stuff and then they blame them. You brought us out here to kill us simply forgotten God's promise that we're not going to have their I'm taking you out there bringing you out brought you out here for a purpose or plan.

And isn't it interesting to that in that bitterness in the ground when we so exaggerate the situation. I mean, they don't really think that Moses and Aaron deliberately wanted to bring them out to kill them. Do they know well the thing is there really not going to die. They got flocks right there. They were hungry enough they can sacrifice or kill and go out and have dinner right but they see the wilderness, and they see death which is open are many resources out there.

So I think again they're anticipating really doubt her because of the resources us were looking at our circumstances and our parent resources that set up.

I am exit out of heels. You and instead of reaffirming the fact that God is with them and got his right license for them so they look at the wilderness to look at the circumstances and they say it'll kill us, but they don't understand that God's one gives life.

So again it comes down, the situation where you gotta remind yourself in circumstances look dire that the knotted stars looks is more than meets the eye. When your circumstances are taking a turn for the worse when you're looking in the future and all you see is wilderness and you say there's nothing out here which is true except that got with you and it changes every lots of stuff out there that they could not see from where they were right right and in it, it seems it seems to me to that that's grumbling is because in every selective memory we talked about this already.

I mean, you brought us out here to kill us. What don't you realize that got ready save you from an Egyptian. That's right. So I guess I don't get it done. So it is interesting in our human nature grumbling causes us to have selective memory yes and cause us to exaggerate the nature of the situation how bad it is and and to look for somebody to blame.

Look for somebody to blame. Yet, it is just that is human nature 101 writers so you know.

So the question is what happens after this were not going to tell you next week you got a week.

How does God respond to people who are grumbling because they say you promise out here to kill us. Does God say okay you're out what it how to respond.

What is he doing in responses and that's what want to go to next time we come together find out does God tolerate these people to see if patient is people does he's dizzy.

Does he meet their needs. What is what is God doing again since God is teaching moment, God what to change, so glad you're with us and hope you join us next week is the desert on the production of mainstream church sitting solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments make you grumpy.

It makes grumble

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime