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Bitter and Sweet

The Verdict / John Munro
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February 10, 2020 1:26 pm

Bitter and Sweet

The Verdict / John Munro

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February 10, 2020 1:26 pm

Dr. John H. Munro February 9, 2020 Exodus 15:22-27

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Bibles to Exodus chapter 15 Exodus chapter 15 were continuing in the series, which we begun in the September last year on the life of Moses we have dealt with Moses the plagues, the deliverance song of the sea, and that no we are looking at Exodus chapter 15 verses 22 through 27 and I'm going to read these verses to you in the newcomers reception earlier today after the morning service. Someone said to me a couple. He said how wonderful it was to come to church where you could hear the rustling of the pages of Scripture and I thought yeah that is a brilliant scientist as we the people of God are opening our Bibles and listening to the word of God.

Unit is Exodus 15 verse 22 then Moses made Israel sent out from the Red Sea and went into the wilderness of short they went three days in the wilderness and find the water when they came to admire they could not bring the wonder of Mme. because it was bitter. Therefore, it was called named Mara 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 and the water became sweet.

There the Lord made for them at statute under rule and then he tested them, saying, if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord 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 the Lord your healer.

Then they came to 11 where there were 12 springs of water and 20 palm trees and they encamped their by the water. Exodus 15 verses 22 through 27 as we follow the Lord Jesus Christ probably will not too long in our spiritual journey. When we realize that being followers of Jesus doesn't rendered as immune from the bitter experiences of life.

I would suggest that most of us here if not all of us have experienced bitter experiences in our pilgrimage through the wilderness that sometimes these bitter and difficult experiences out of our own making.

Through a foolish and sinful choices but other times we experienced bitter times flowing from events beyond our control.

I think of the example of Naomi from the book of Ruth is godly woman or husband dies and then her two sons died and Naomi says to Ruth and Ruth chapter 1 it is exceedingly bitter to me. So where do we have here and ask this 15 Mara it is extinct exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has garnered against me and then when she returns to Bethlehem as she says to the people there do not call me Naomi, call me Mina, what we have here at annexes 54, the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. There are many commentators that criticize Naomi, but I would suggest to you with a woman who's had a husband I and her two sons die has experienced bitterness target. We as followers of Jesus Christ respond to these bitter experiences.

These sufferings.

These disappointments and setbacks in life. These unexpected circumstances which can be so bitter when these bitter events blowing toward life, do we complain that we grumble against God and others, or do we praise God for being at work and our life for good is a tough test tough questions but will find the answer. I think here and ask this 15 are some of you may be thinking in our contemporary world with so much going on in society where we reading our scriptures which were written thousands of years ago. Why do we deal with such ancient stories which seem so unrelated to our contemporary experience letting Paul answers the question in first Corinthians 10. He says now these things happen to them.

Israel, as an example, but they were written down flat out instruction on whom the end of the ages has come first Corinthians 10 verse 11. I'm one of the examples which Paul gives in that passage is grumbling by the Israelites, a well-known phenomenon within one year be so brave as to say that they've never grumbled or complained. So were dealing tonight with dealing with the bitter experiences of life. How would we respond well first of all, in verses 22 through 24 we see that believers in the Lord redeemed people do experience adversity. The Israelites are being led by God. When the experience adversity when they come to waters they cannot drink because there's so bitter.

You'll recall that under the leadership of Moses.

They have been delivered through the Red Sea, they come into the wilderness of sure we know that the Lord is going before of them. You will recall the end of Exodus 13 there given the supernatural guidance a pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of cloud by night, so that following the Lord Lord is ahead of them. The Lord this guiding them. Moses had told Pharaoh in chapter 3 verse 18 to let the people go. I three day journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, so they have traveled for three days of verse 22 and is a long time to go without water.

There is three days of phenomena, and of our younger generation is that they can't go for 10 minutes without sipping from a shoot bottle of water. Isn't it they go through life with the huge backpacks even larger canisters of water facing the world something as the goes are remarkable phenomena in this and that some of us wonder how we ever survive without these, this idea of drinking more than every five minutes, but there we are the children of his. It's amazing that if I call a meeting at our staff.

Those who are 35 and under are going to come with think canisters of water think that would only here for a 45 minute meeting. In fact, really, are prevented 30 minutes but they can get through anything without sipping from bottles of water they would've been grumbling and sure along with Israel in their search for water leaving that aside, which I should never have said the Israelites come to my three troubling him for three days in the wilderness. Can you imagine how excited they were when they come to drink the water of Marana but notice verse 23 when they came to Moraga could not drink the water of Marana because it was better therefore it was named Moraga map means bitter so we could read verse 23, like this when they came to better they could not drink the water of better because it was bitter.

Therefore, it was named bitter you get a pint of water was bitter could drink it. Why would the Lord leads his redeemed people to a place in the wilderness where the only water is better. You question the Lord Israel was never going to forget this bitter experience of Marana. It is written in the Old Testament Scriptures as we have read is true that sometimes we remember a particular here because of a better experience. You may remember 2010 as the year when you contracted a serious illness. You met a member of the year 2015.

For example, the user with a loved one passed away year that was difficult at work here when you were fired to work some difficult circumstance and what you think of that year you think of the picture experience at the point of the bitter experience of more these bitter waters was going to be written into the history of Israel. How is Israel going to respond to coming to water. After three days traveling in the wilderness. You can see them so excited bending down and drinking that water and finding is bitter. What do they do verse 24 on the people grumbled against Moses, saying, what shall we drink, the grumbled and complete.

We associate grumbling, particularly with children only children tend to complain. Children tend to client on the day's a sign of immaturity. They expect life to be perfect, but grumbling is not confined to children, and here are the children of Israel grumble against Moses, but Moses, the man of God realizes that although there grumbling against him. That really grumbling against the Lord.

We could chapter 16. For example, verse eight, the last sentence of verse eight when he says to them in another connection, but the principle is the same.

Your grumbling is not against us with against the Lord your grumbling by got bitter experience that difficultly your grumbling or you may grumble about your employer you make. Grumble about your wife.

You may grumble about the circumstance but really your grumbling against the Lord. Not this grumbling, I don't think it was just a casual moment Torre venting of the frustration. What were they doing, they should've known better. They should've known much better were diluting once again the goodness of God.

They were questioning the love of God. There were questioning the sovereignty of God looks to the sky and see the cloud by day and the pillar of cloud by night's. How could they be so disloyal to the leader Moses good to be so disloyal to the Lord who had delivered them from slavery would lead them through the Red Sea, where they had seen the Egyptian forces the superpower of the day totally destroyed and to come to wander and is better than the complainant than they believe that the Lord would meet alternates and they seen God at work when they came to the Red Sea member with the Egyptian army behind them, and Moses says in chapter 14 verse 13, fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord which you will work for you today for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you and you only have to be silence, the Lord led them through the Red Sea, the Lord had decimated the Egyptian opposition and now without complaining because the got bitter water when grateful, disloyal, how unthankful I lacking faith easy to criticize the Israelites's justified in criticizing here sometimes like this relates what do you do the bitter experiences of life is the true that most of us tend to grumble and complain rather than reaffirming our faith and trust in God, who always always the best interests of his people who's always a good God is always a faithful God so that Paul writes to the Philippians do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God is going to be a testimony to the godless a generation. In Philippians 3. Adversity comes, bitter experiences of others are better grumble and complain. Now what are we to do in the bitter experiences of life. Remember, the Lord is greater than your adversity. The Lord is greater than that bitter experience and when adversity comes, and in the bitter experiences of life do what Moses did pray verse 25. The people grumbled against Moses. What does Moses do he cry to the Lord.

In contrast to the grumbling and the complaining of the Israelites, Moses, the man of God demonstrates his trust in God and his dependence on God by crying out to the Lord is well that sounds pretty obvious what does it is obvious what do you do it's is the case in the bitter experiences of life. We are often so overwhelmed with so self absorbed. Sometimes self-pity gang because of these bitter experiences which we feel emotionally about unfair. We didn't really expect and rather than getting down on her knees and crying out to God for deliverance for guidance were strength we forgotten that that it's those who wait on the Lord who had renewed strength as those who are going to Montauk with wings like eagles will walk and not be weary and run and not faint. We forgotten that a valuable lesson for us to pray from the parable in Luke 18 Jesus tells a parable to demonstrate that we ought always to pray and not to lose heart.

I can imagine Israelites of the water as the drinking it's in this better the console.

Although it's made me feel so let down the horse farm there discouraged the three days marching in this wretched wilderness and now they can get a drink the bitter experiences of life. I find it's easy to lose heart. But when we pray to sing sing a good little pray. But when we really pray on her knees on her face before the Lord that demonstrates our humility and demonstrates our acknowledgment that we cannot resolve the situation by ourselves. I need the Lord's help there's nothing that we can do. The Israelites were very capable people highly intelligent thing. There were some engineers there counseling. There were some people who were skilled in the beautification of water after all that lived in Egypt for many many years. These were capable people. These were short people but there's nothing they could do and so the complaint reminder Lord is greater than any adversity.

I noticed what happens. Verse 25 business, a strange story. He cried to the Lord and the Lord showed him along a tree a piece of wood and he threw it into the water and the water became strange action is expected, but have some fund that the comment that the water for God to speak. No Moses you see that log their catalog and throw in the water products in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform is not that why we pray because God's answers the way God works out often totally deliverance a different timetable a different way than we ever would expect and all of our ingenuity and all of our collective wisdom and strength could never solve the problem. But what we could never do collectively God can do in a split second to through the log into the weather was happening on the Lord is demonstrating again that he is the Lord God that he is the true God is demonstrating his invincible power is also demonstrating to the people is on failing faithfulness, even although they fail.

He does not feel them a difference. People had humbly asked for his provision and asked for his guidance.

He would've graciously supplied all of their needs and this blogger tree piece of wood turns the water from bitter sweet is not clear how this happened. Some of suggested that the law could some quality that would cover the bitterness of the 100, but this was a supernatural provision was a medical tree of healing the Lord is over 11 and God is here, as he does over and over again and lives that are broken in situations which are better he turns the ashes to beauty.

He terms darkness to light, he turned his death, the life he turns bitterness, sweetness, many of you have experience that happened to #23 what does God provide the table. He provides a table in the presence of my enemies. A strange place for a table. But God frequently surprises us with his grace even when we grumble. Even when we fail God see the wonderful provision of God, not to be careful.

Lord doesn't always take such dramatic and immediate action and removing bitter adversities, God has his own timetable. God cannot be manipulated by God's ways are unsearchable.

We don't understand all of the ways that God works, but we do know that with God nothing is impossible and, in our prayers we submit to the will of God. But we also believe that he can and does take the bitter experiences of life and transform them into the suite is it's true. As Jesus said in the world you have tribulation, but take courage, take heart. I've overcome the world. So what will and so far we experience adversity. Secondly, the Lord you are the sister this evening. The Lord is greater than your adversity.

The Lord is greater than that bitter experience that you're presently in our third blessing follows vigilance blessing follows begins the Lord here is testing his people. Verse 25 he cried to the Lord. The Lord showed him along his route into the water to the water became sweet. His inhibitors there. The Lord made for them a statute under rule and there he tested them the Lord tests his people, people of Israel fail the test, God leads him to bitter water. Instead of looking to God for guidance and help the grumble using his appoint one of the points that these bitter experiences and trials of life for a divine purpose so that we would trust God more that we would practice instant obedience and God tests us, not to disapprove us but to approve us to go over to Exodus 20. For example, verse 20 the end of the section on the 10 Commandments Exodus 20 verse 20 Moses said to the people do not fear God has come to test you that the fear of him. Maybe before your that you may not sin. Testing us not to disapprove us but to approve us a Peter talks about that in first Peter uses the analogy of gold being refined to these bitter experiences. Act like a refiner's fire, which remove the impurities in our lives. We understand that God is at work in our life for good and that God if you ask it humbly in faith, God's promised to give you and me all of the grace all of the strength, all of the wisdom that I need for this day the state today give me this day my daily bread to believe that God is at work in your life to believe that God is always at work in your life for good. Wonderful. Jim says would blast if we remain steadfast under trial.

So these times of bitter nests in our lives on a test of our faith, how you doing are you doing now in verses 26 and 27 we see that God's blessing follows regions to his word, or we need to hear this with very very strange view of the blessing of the Lord, we presume on God's grace we presume on God's goodness in people. Several God loves me of whatever I do, yes, there's a sense in which such true but there's a sense in which I was very very misleading man can imagine what your wife would say if she overheard you saying to one of your friends know I let my wife loves me. Why would I do that I can treat her badly, but she so loves me. She's such a great wife, Jesus loves me and I can live anywhere one man since he seems to have a wonderful wife but he's presume on the goodness of his wife. He's taking her for granted. He's treating her badly listen to verses 26 and 20's 26 again if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord 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 your that I put on the Egyptians, for I the Lord bless appoint on the Lord Yahweh.

The self existent God. I am the Lord your healer with the point if the Israelites keep the rules and the commandments and statutes of God. They will be preserved from the Egyptian diseases. After all the time in Egypt was a better time member as the Passover, they were to each the bitter herbs to remind them of their bitter experience of slavery, but now it is the wonderful grace of God. Now as a redeemed people, they would be free from Egyptian bitterness, they would be free from Egyptian suffering under pressure and free from the diseases of Egypt if they obeyed the Lord.

If the honor God put God first, God is the healer of his people. Some hundred and three verse three he heals all your diseases does not mean that God automatically heals all of the diseases and illnesses of these people here and now know he certainly able to heal us, and we know that ultimately every authentic follower of Jesus Christ will be free of all of our disease is all about bitterness. All of her pain on all of our suffering when we see our Lord Jesus Christ, because when one with Christ. There's no pain there's no suffering.

There's no tears, but the important point is that is and is one that we may not like this promise to Israel was conditions on their abrasions to his word. They are to diligently listen listen to what listen to God. They are to do what is right in his action not enough just to listen. It is to be translated into action there to give ear to his commandments to keep all of his commandments were blessed at Calvary to give a focus on the word of God we listen to the word of God. We redid ourselves but are we keeping masculine this morning I give a call to repentance and as I was speaking about repentance of sin. Yes, in the life of the believer. Some of you were convicted of some of your sins that you repent for them. Have you forsaken wonderful to listen wonderful to open your Bible and see this is the truth of God. But are we obeying it. Are we just hitters of the words rather than doers of the same member Lord Jesus taught the great chapter John 13 of the washing of the disciples feet. He says to them. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do the blessing comes from doing them. They had to observe the humility of the Lord they know that if there Lord and Master serve them.

They were to start one another. They knew that intellectually. It would get the exam question right with the question as you.

You know it, but are you going to do it. John 14 verse 23. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. This is the endless circle of love that we as first that God loves us and we love him and then the father comes in at the sun and makes that a boat with us. God seeks obedient followers of Christ, instant regions is a test of your love for Jesus Christ, not what you say not what you saying not how much you know of the Bible that we should know the Bible is test of her love for Christ is our rib regions for Christ. If you love me you will keep my commandments. And the more you love Christ's you will obey him when you love someone you want to please them get joy out of pleasing them, and the Lord's richest blessings then will follow you through. Three weeks ago we thought of someone who is the man who was prospered, someone verse three in all that he does, he prospers. How is that because this man and someone is a blessed man because he is conforming his life. According to the law of God is not living his own life is not with the scoffers is not walking with the ungodly know he separated from sin and his life is ruled by the word of God, so that what he does prospers God's blessing in hand is on the we won the doorway of course is one of the great joys is in the following Jesus Christ to know his hand. As you repent you turn from sin each day is your fresh expression of love for the Lord Jesus and you follow him closely and he blesses you with isn't God gracious in spite of them grumbling.

What does the Lord do dealings them to Palm Springs us in the Bible is a great place to live.

Palm Springs here this verse 27, the company they come to England where there were 12 springs of water, one for each of the tribes and 20 palm trees Palm Springs and encamp there by the one spring for each of the 12 tribes with the points it's a limitless supply of water and food for the people you put God first, God will bless you. God is no man's data for the Jesus teach seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to your my brother if you put Jesus Christ first in your life if you pursue him with all of your heart and you love him and seek to obey him in every aspect of your life. All of the other things in life that we worry and fry the bike God will take care of that wonderful way to live. Seek first the kingdom of God public to another way, the principal verse 19 and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. These bitter experiences of life attests over love and loyalty to the Lord a golden following Jesus is not other comfortable problems free life. No, it is to be faithful to him and all of the circumstances of life in the mountaintop and in the Valley and in the midst of tough experiences, bitter experiences. We are to seek to thank God, to love him to cry out to him to ask him to intervene and to be faithful to him, knowing that he is a sovereign God who loves us and it is true that all things work together for good to those who love to those who are called according to his purposes starts when it says a holy person is like a silver bell the harder he is smitten, the better he sends you that holy person is like a silver bell the harder he is smitten. The grantor he sends and who is the outstanding example of what we just sent our Lord Jesus Christ, we come to the Lord's table tonight as we think of our Lord as we obey his commands and remember him.

Who are we remembering we thought of some of his titles and descriptions this morning as the Lamb of God as the Messiah is the Christ, God's perfect servant, the son of God, but is also called the man of sorrows, the one who is acquainted with grief. One who experiences bitterness one who is obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Paul says right of Hebrews says he for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God and is with a member of the Lord tonight.

One of the wonderful things with the Lord's supper is to put things into perspective.

The very easy in life, for difficult circumstances to get us off course and disappointments in an bitter things this week as we come to the Lord's supper. I hope you find this is the quantity is the purity of the gospel that I am to keep looking each day to my Lord Jesus Christ and as I do that my faith is deepened my love for him grows and that I love him with all of my heart and obey him, and all of my ways and of the Lord supper for the redoing were focusing on a piece of wood were focusing on the treat. Listen to the way that Peter peters puts it so beautifully in first Peter two verse 24 perhaps some of the analogies of what we read in the Old Testament Peter is reflecting on he puts it this way so wonderfully regarding our Savior.

He said he himself bore our sins in his body not on the cross. That's true, he uses the word for tree the same word that the Septuagint uses for the log that is thrown into the water and excess. Chapter 15 he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.

What was the cross was a piece of wood rough words cut down showing their sinless Savior nailed so that old rugged cross, he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness by his wounds you have been healed for you were straying like sheep but of no return to the shepherd and overseer of your souls that deadly deadly disease of sin that we could never standpipe which would Thomas to Hal for all of eternity. Our Savior has communist taken arson on the tree and turns of ashes to beauty turns.

I would bitterness the sweetness and joy as we praise our incredible Savior, who loved us and gave himself for us. Father, we thank you for the tree for that old rugged cross for our blessed Savior who was a region done today, even death on the cross and as we reflect on that in the bitterness of situations the bitterness of sin, the bitterness of our failure. The bitterness of injustice and hardship and insuperable situations in their life. We thank you that there there is sweetness there is joy because he takes all of our sin. All of our bitterness on himself on the treat helpless father. No love for more make Christ reveal himself to us know in the breaking of bread. We pray in this precious thing

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