Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
The children of Israel had been delivered across the Red Sea and had
seen their enemies destroyed in the Sea. Afterwards they sang the song
of deliverance. Next, they proceeded in their journey into the
wilderness. It is here that they came upon the waters of Marah as we
read: Ex. 15:22 "So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went
out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the
wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they
could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore
the name of it was called Marah.24 And the people murmured against
Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and
the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the
waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an
ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt
diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that
which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and
keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee,
which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth
The above was part of the experiences of the children of Israel after they had been delivered from Egyptian bondage. This parallels our experiences after that we have been delivered from the bondage of the law of sin and death through the miracle of the New or Spiritual birth.
The desert land in which the children of Israel journeyed is much like the world in which we live. This world has no spiritual water or spiritual food for us to feed our souls upon. Like the waters of Marah, when we look at our life's experiences they can become bitter to the extent that we become so convicted of sin and become convinced that we are hell bound because of our sins and that we cannot do anything about it.
The children of Israel had existed in the hot burning sun of the wilderness for three days. They were no-doubt quite thirsty and knew with the rationale of human logic that if they did not get water shortly they would die. In the bitterness of their souls they cried out unto Moses. But what could Moses do? Moses cried out unto the Lord. The Lord showed Moses a tree which when he cast into the waters of Marah the waters were made sweet.
The law convicts the heart of a Spirit-born child of God. It shows him what a wretched sinner that he is: Gal. 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." To know that we are under the curse of the law is indeed a bitter (Marah) pill. The remedy for us is found at the tree of the cross: Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" The waters of life before we knew that Jesus had redeemed us are too bitter for us to drink. We can only see death, the curse of sin. However, once we see Jesus has redeemed us from our sins the waters of life become sweet to us. We now have a hope of heaven's glory world.
The following are set forth in the scriptures as an example of this principle:
1. a. Is. 6:4
"And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the
house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people
of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
Here, Isaiah saw himself cursed by sin and cried out in his misery.
"There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee." Once we have tasted the sweet waters of redemption through the atoning blood of Jesus, we are called upon to serve him. Here we see a conditional timely deliverance through obeying the commandments and ordinances of God, with the promised blessings of God for obeying and the warning of sore consequences if we disobey him.
"And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters." To the children of Israel, this was an oasis in the desert. Here they could rest, be refreshed, and drink of the sweet waters. The Lord in establishing his church kingdom initially called twelve apostles and seventy other ministers. With these twelve and seventy he sent forth the sweet gospel waters that bring rest, comfort, refreshment and sweet spiritual drink to the children of God in his church kingdom.