Bitter

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Exodus 15:22-27

And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” (v. 24)

As they traverse the wilderness, the Israelites repeatedly give in to complaint. They have reason for anxiety. After all, they are making their way through an inhospitable landscape on foot. Dangers and deprivations abound. When they finally come across a source of water, it is not even good water. It’s bitter. Their complaints are bitter.

The Lord condemns Israel’s complaint. Their complaints are not just an expression of anxiety; they are an indictment. God’s people are telling God that he has not done enough; that he is not enough. When we complain, we do the same thing. Our words are an overflow of the bitter indictment of our hearts. We are really saying that what God has given is not good enough. Like the Israelites, so recently rescued from slavery, we quickly forget God’s past intervention in the face of new disappointments.

How did God rescue us? By coming to us in the person of Jesus Christ and drinking the bitter cup of condemnation that should have been ours. Trust God’s sustaining grace. Accept God’s sufficient gifts. Let the love of Jesus transform your bitter complaint into sweet thanksgiving. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, remember God’s past gifts and anticipate God’s future blessing.