Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer

Getting beyond Marah: healing bitterness

From the October 1981 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There is a brief but interesting episode in the Exodus of the Hebrews out of their bondage to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses had led them, under God's protection and guidance, out of Egypt and beyond the realm of Pharaoh's thoughts and actions. During this wilderness passage to the Promised Land there was a need for fresh drinking water. At one point the Israelites had unsuccessfully searched for water for three days. "And when they came to Marah," the Bible relates, "they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter."

Then the people complained of Moses' leadership. Turning to God for guidance, Moses was led to a particular tree, "which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet." The Israelites were reminded that strict obedience to God's commandments would save them from disasters and plagues. They were assured with God's promise, "I am the Lord that healeth thee." Ex. 15:23, 25, 26.

Moses must have known that Pharaoh had not been totally responsible for their harsh bondage as the Israelites supposed. To lead them out, hadn't he had to battle a slave mentality that would have held them captive — mastered and manipulated? Through his own obedience to the one God and trust in Him, Moses must have discerned that the children of Israel needed to develop more fully the thinking of a spiritually free people. A kind of bitterness kept reappearing. Their reaction to difficulties again and again was to blame and accuse. First, Pharaoh, for their slavery. Then Moses, when their deliverance required more than they had expected.

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

More in this issue / October 1981


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures