Monday, July 30, 2012

Bitter to Sweet

Here's the notes from the message at New Life Community Church yesterday.  To listen to the audio, go to our website at

Inside Story, Part 6                                                                            Sunday, July 29, 2012
 “Bitter to Sweet”

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:22-24 (ESV)

Directly out of one the greatest miracles of the Bible, they are met with bitter waters.
Wilderness of Shur.  “Shur” – hard to translate, but perhaps closest is “wall.”  They ran into a wall.
25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.  Exodus 15:25a (ESV)

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 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.” Exodus 15:25b-26 (ESV)

Compound name of God:  JEHOVAH-RAPHA
Context is healing bitter waters.

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water. Exodus 15:27 (ESV)
Why this verse?  7 means completeness.  12 speaks of divine government.  After healing of bitter waters comes “completeness” and “Lordship”

1.     Bitterness contaminates EVERYTHING

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;  Hebrews 12:14-15 (NKJV)

Defile – Gk. Miaino which means to stain, to dye, to tinge, to color or contaminate.

2.     Bitterness sets you up to see JESUS

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning. Ruth 1:20-22 (NIV)

16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.  Ruth 4:16-17 (NIV)

3.     Bitterness requires HEALING

and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  Exodus 15:26 (NKJV)

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