The Trial at Marah
the Israelites from slavery in
The trial of the Israelites at Marah in those days provides for us who follow Christ today four aspects of a lesson in hardships:
1. Hardships are a test for the children of God. Sometimes, God makes us encounter hardships so that we will be tested in our spiritual quality and our degree of knowledge of Him. As with the function of academic examinations, the purpose isn’t to torture the students, but to test their degree of learning and absorption of the subject they had been taught. An adverse circumstance could be God’s instrument to test the character of our spirituality.
Hardships are just temporary. The Israelites became panicked
after just three days without water in the desert, and grumbled against God and
Moses who had rescued them from
3. Hardships are the turning points for spiritual revival. The Israelites had drunk water from rivers, wells and rain. But it is certain that none among the more than one million of them had ever drunk sweet water from the stream at Marah. By means of a designated tree, God turned bitter water into sweet. This was a wonderful miracle. Sometimes God will revive us from a tedious life, mundane job, or depressed spirituality through hardships. If we wait for and seek Him, God can convert a peril into a turning point, and hardships into brand new blessings.
4. Hardships compel us to trust God. The response of most people to hardships is fear, grumbling, avoidance or withdrawal. When the children of God face hardships, our response will be different from that of the world if we truly know our place and are certain that God is with us. All depend on our trust in the Almighty Father. Hardships are good opportunities for our spiritual growth. They will nurture our genuine faith in God and complete dependence on Him. If we are always successful and never encounter setbacks, we will never learn the reliance on God that is generated through hardships.
“This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:6-8)