Far Better the Bitter Waters

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. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: – Exodus 15:22,23

Notice that the perils and trials of the wilderness occur very early in the pilgrim life. It is a notion, I have no doubt, of very young Christians who still have the shell upon their heads and are scarce hatched, that their trials are over now that they have become winged with faith; they had far better have reckoned that their trials have begun with tenfold force, now that they are numbered with the servants of the Most High. Whatever else comes not to thee, O servant of God, this will surely be fulfilled, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” “What son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?”

When Israel was in Egypt, they drank of the river Nile. No ordinary water that…What a change from the sweetness of the Nile to the bitterness of Marah! Did not the suggestion rise in their hearts, “It was better with us in the bondage of Egypt, with water in abundance, than it is now in the liberty of the wilderness with the bitterness of Marah?” The devil tempted some of us at the very first by saying: “See what you have got by being a Christian. While you were as others are, your mind had mirth; now you have come out and followed the Crucified, you have lost the liveliness of your spirits, the brightness of your wit-that which made life worth having is taken away from you.” Young Christian, is that your case to-day? Be not stumbled, neither believe the enemy. Man, it were better to die at Marah free, than live a slave by the sweet Nile. Even men that know not the Spirit of God have felt it were better to die free than live slaves, and truly to be a slave to Satan is so degrading a thing, that if this mouth were for ever filled with Marah’s bitterness, yet were it better to be so than to be enchanted with the pleasures of sin. Yet these early trials are very severe, and need much grace lest they cause us great mischief.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0987.cfm

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