Rosh Chodesh Iyar, The Bitter Water Tree

A few days ago, part of the Christian community, mostly those of the Jewish, Messianic, and some Orthodox, celebrated Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

For most Western Christian sects, that probably means little to nothing, and I would suspect that the vast majority of evangelical Christians have never even heard of it before.

The holiday comes from an event recorded in Exodus 15:22-25:

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. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" 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.

This is a great story about God's provision in a seemingly adverse situation.

But what I often find unfortunate is that the last part of verse 25, and all of verse 26, of Exodus 15, contains an extremely powerful message:

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 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."

This is a verse that I suspect many Christian's are familiar with, even if they are not familiar with the story of Marah.

There is one final verse that is all too important, verse 28, which reads:

Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

So, in the end, after the child of God went wondering around, found themselves in what they felt was a bad situation, were provided a seemingly miraculous provision, were given a promise, a statute, from God, and after all of that, after continuing down the path that they were instructed to follow, arrived at a stop with plentiful water and palms. Sometimes, just what we need is right around the corner.

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

While I am familiar with the story, I did not know about Rosh Chodesh Iyar. This is a very powerful message!

John Knox @watchmanjohn ·

Thanks - we should be more aware of the Jewish festivals

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

I read this a couple of months ago but it caught my eye once again today. God used it to remind me that He can transform the bitter into sweet.

Do not include honorifics.

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