Was it composed and sung spontaneously and simultaneously? Did the lyrics and vivid imagery just flow out of the song leader? Have you ever heard 1,000,000+ people singing and worshipping in unison? Did the people in the local villages step outside their homes and lift their heads, with straining ears, to catch more of the singing as it echoed across the land? You wouldn’t have to be a musicologist to quickly understand there was the excitement and energy of triumph in their voices.

The singers had broken free from years of cruel and harsh bondage. Their bodies had been scarred by whips as the slave-masters demanded unrealistic levels of productivity. But now they had just experienced an incredible escape. With the enemy chasing from behind, a path through the Red Sea miraculously stayed open long enough for God’s people to make it across to safety. The sea then swallowed up their hostile pursuers.

Free at last! No more whips! No more torture! No more cruelty! No more pain! Thrilling freedom. “Let our lungs burst in shouting praise to our Mighty God, our Omnipotent Deliverer!” Listen to them sing. Have you ever heard such a crescendo? From Mezzo Forte to Forte to Fortissimo. That was Freedom Day #1.

And then as the sun rises on Freedom Day #3 their vocal chords are engaged again – but their tune had changed. The lyrics turned dark.

“I’m thirsty.”
“So am I.”
“Me too.”
“All of us are!”
“I’m croaking for a drink, so is Joe. This is rotten.”
“I feel the same way. So much for all our singing.”
“I just tried the water here at Marah and it is gross. Bitter.”
“Yeah, I knew it. This is pathetic. What good is freedom if we die of thirst?”
“Moses is to blame.”

A heads-up: don’t bother learning the lyrics of that song.

And yes, they were thirsty and when you finally come across water but you can not drink it – yes, it is hard to take. Very hard! It only exacerbates the thirst. Bitter waters can lead to bitter hearts and bitter attitudes and bitter talk and bitter decisions – a grave danger. No one, in their worst nightmares, wants to be a bitter person. But it happens.

Moses cried out to the Lord. Have you tried that?

So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet… and there He tested them. Exodus 15:24-25 NASB

Dear Child of God, have you been thirsty lately and, much to your dismay, the water you have been given to drink is bitter – very bitter? Can you think of any tree today that could bring a certain sweetness into your experience? What about the tree mentioned in the verses below:

“… Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,
so that you might follow in His steps.
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth.
When He was reviled, He did not revile in return;
when He suffered, He did not threaten,
but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By His wounds you have been healed.
For you were straying like sheep,
but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
1Peter 2:21-25

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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