As we are going through our October series, “Divine Healing”, we welcome you all. We will start from the Gospel of Luke.
Luke 4:18-20 - Jesus announced His role to heal. “18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.”
Matthew 10:18 - Jesus commissioned His disciples to heal the sick. “and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.”
Israelites were called by God to love Him. They were happy when everything were fine but left God when things were bad.
Romans 8:28 - Everything God works are good:
For those who love the Lord
For those who are called according to His purpose.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Every providence tends to the spiritual good of those that love God; in breaking them off from sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, and fitting them for heaven. When the saints act out of character, corrections will be employed to bring them back again. And here is the order of the causes of our salvation, a golden chain, one which cannot be broken.
Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. All that God designed for glory and happiness as the end, he decreed to grace and holiness as the way. The whole human race deserved destruction; but for reasons not perfectly known to us, God determined to recover some by regeneration and the power of his grace. He predestinated, or before decreed, that they should be conformed to the image of his Son. In this life they are in part renewed, and walk in his steps.
Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. It is an effectual call, from self and earth to God, and Christ, and heaven, as our end; from sin and vanity to grace and holiness, as our way. This is the gospel call. The love of God, ruling in the hearts of those who once were enemies to him, proves that they have been called according to his purpose.
Whom he called, them he also justified. None are thus justified but those that are effectually called. Those who stand out against the gospel call, abide under guilt and wrath.
Whom he justified, them he also glorified. The power of corruption being broken in effectual calling, and the guilt of sin removed in justification, nothing can come between that soul and glory. This encourages our faith and hope; for, as for God, his way, his work, is perfect. The apostle speaks as one amazed, and swallowed up in admiration, wondering at the height and depth, and length and breadth, of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. The more we know of other things, the less we wonder; but the further we are led into gospel mysteries, the more we are affected by them. While God is for us, and we keep in his love, we may with holy boldness defy all the powers of darkness.
Christian walk cannot be one step forward and one step backward. Satan will always tempt us to go backward.
Exodus 15:22-27, “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?” 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. 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.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.”
In the wilderness of Shur the Israelites had no water. At Marah they had water, but it was bitter; so that they could not drink it. God can make bitter to us that from which we promise ourselves most, and often does so in the wilderness of this world, that our wants, and disappointments in the creature, may drive us to the Creator, in whose favour alone true comfort is to be had. In this distress the people fretted, and quarrelled with Moses. Hypocrites may show high affections, and appear earnest in religious exercises, but in the time of temptation they fall away. Even true believers, in seasons of sharp trial, will be tempted to fret, distrust, and murmur. But in every trial we should cast our care upon the Lord, and pour out our hearts before him. We shall then find that a submissive will, a peaceful conscience, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost, will render the bitterest trial tolerable, yea, pleasant. Moses did what the people had neglected to do; he cried unto the Lord. And God provided graciously for them. He directed Moses to a tree which he cast into the waters, when, at once, they were made sweet. Some make this tree typical of the cross of Christ, which sweetens the bitter waters of affliction to all the faithful, and enables them to rejoice in tribulation. But a rebellious Israelite shall fare no better than a rebellious Egyptian. The threatening is implied only, the promise is expressed. God is the great Physician. If we are kept well, it is he that keeps us; if we are made well, it is he that recovers us. He is our life and the length of our days. Let us not forget that we are kept from destruction, and delivered from our enemies, to be the Lord's servants. At Elim they had good water, and enough of it. Though God may, for a time, order his people to encamp by the bitter waters of Marah that shall not always be their lot. Let us not faint at tribulations.
There was no water for 3 days as Israelites were traveling in the desert. They began to question "where is God?” They came to a stop. Sometimes we come to a point of desert or stopping in our relationship. Perhaps to a place of disappointment. From bad to bitter - where there was water - but the water was bitter. No matter what bitterness we go through we should trust and wait on God. Israelites were comparing this bitter water with the water in Egypt. This experience with that of in Egypt. We are always comparing of life in the past and the blessing of the world. Moses must have been relieved seeing water and the complaints of Israelites, but the water turned out bitter, surprising Moses himself. When we are stuck in life our response can be better or bitter. It all depends on our attitude and choices. The world will give us temporary blessings like Marah contrary to God's promise although the need is the same - Water.
But Israelites grumbled (vs.24) against God to Moses. They put all their frustration to Moses. Our horizontal relationship is dependent on our vertical relationship. We turn our anger from one to another. Instead let's pour out all our emotion to God. Many a times we project ourselves good and project our spouse or parents or children as bad.
The dependency of Israelites was on Moses rather than God. Sometimes our focus can shift from God to people. We need to be careful to listen to the voice of God. The worldly meditation is to empty our mind but the Biblical meditation is to fill out mind with things of God and what God had done.
Be attentive to listen to God's voice. God will not allow any diseases to come upon us and will heal s if we listen to His voice and obey His word.
Vs. 27 - then they came to Elim where they camped around 12 springs of water - This is the provision of God when we do what He says. We in our lives come to a place called Marah but there's a place called Elim also where God will take us. God gave them food also - 70 palm trees - more than what they desired.
God gives us enough information, illumination and clarification to enable us to do His will - not any more or any less. Ask the Lord to help you avoid speculating about the reasons why God allows certain people to experience sickness. Instead, concentrate on trusting and obeying the Lord with the facts He has given you in His word.
So, take your dry and bitter experiences to the Lord who heals, and let Him bring sweetness and refreshing into your life again. Let me close with this inspiring quote - “The bitter waters of Marah were sweetened with a piece of wood. The bitterness of life is sweetened only with the cross of Christ”.
We hope you enjoyed today’s sermon. We look forward seeing you next Sunday. God Bless!