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Spring Run-off

by | May 1, 2024 | Attitude, Gods Ways, Healing, Names of God

When the snow finally melts in our province of Alberta, the water from the tap in the city of Red Deer starts to taste terrible. It’s brown and turbid from mud and silt stirred up by the now faster-flowing Red Deer River. Added to the mud and silt is dead and decaying plant matter like the previous year’s leaves and grasses. This state of affairs could last from three to six weeks. It depends on the amount of snow we’ve had during the winter.

During Spring run-off our water goes through two treatment processes as it comes out of the river. As well as the usual chlorine, potassium permanganate and powdered activated charcoal are added to absorb some of the impurities, and to control taste and odour. We’re told the water is safe to drink; it’s just not what we like to drink.

The people of Israel, however, could not drink the water they found as they travelled in the desert.

After their amazing deliverance at the Red Sea, Moses led the people of Israel into the wilderness area beyond, into the desert of Shur. There they found no water. When they reached the oasis of Marah (meaning bitter) three days later, the people complained that the water there was too bitter to drink.

God could have provided water along the way, but He deliberately led them in a certain direction to teach the people certain aspects of His character. In contrast to the people’s grumbling, Moses inquired of the Lord, and God provided the solution. Moses dramatically threw the piece of wood God showed him into the water. Like the substances added to our drinking water, the bitter water became good to drink.

The peoples’ attitude towards their predicament was bitter. Grumbling and complaining against their leader, they revealed their resentment that the Lord did not meet their needs. They quickly forgot that God had delivered them in the not-so-distant past.

God put them to the test. “ He said, ‘If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.’” (Exodus 15:26b NLT) To be healthy, all the people had to do was to obey the commands and decrees laid out for their welfare.

The Israelites encountered God in a new way at the oasis of Marah – Yaweh Rophe — “the Lord who heals”. They learned that they needed to look to God only. When they trusted Him, He would heal them, just as He healed the bitter waters.

In our world, the water doesn’t always taste good, and we have difficulties, especially after a triumph. It is in the difficulties, however, that God reveals Himself. Let’s not cry out in despair, “What are we going to drink?” (Exodus 15:24 NLT) Let’s trust the Lord, who healed the waters at Marah, and can certainly heal every situation when we turn to Him.

Prayer: Lord, our healer, help us not to despair in times of challenge and difficulties, but to turn to You for healing.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Alice Burnett
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada