Pastor's Notes


An old lady entered a department store. She was welcomed by a band and an officer who approached her to pin an orchid on her dress and handed her a hundred-dollar bill. Yes, she was the store’s lucky one-millionth customer. Cameras were focused on her and curious reporters began interviewing her. One of the questions was about the purpose of her coming.
What would be the purpose of somebody going to a department store? Generally, it would be to purchase their necessities, but surprisingly, the lady came with a different intention, “I’m on my way to the Complaint Department.” The lady’s answer may sound as rude as it is funny, but in her defense, it is a given that every store should provide a complaint desk to hear the critics of their customer, is it not? Then again, in life, it would be better not to advertise your complaints because in the end, everybody has their fair share of problems.
The children of Israel had just left the Reed Sea behind. The water, as a matter of fact, was salty. After walking for 3 days in the wilderness of Shur where no source of water was found, on the fourth day of their journey they arrived at, hallelu-Yah, Marah where they finally found plenty of water. This was the first stop after they crossed the Reed Sea. But as the name indicates, the water was bitter. Yes, marah in Hebrew means bitter.
A complaint emerged. Just a few days ago they faced a dead-end: on both sides of the endless desert and in front of the Reed Sea the Egyptian armies were chasing. But God helped them by making that sea as the cul de sac. Then they are faced with another dead-end. The water was bitter to death, making them complain. Of course, God helped them once more. He showed Moses a tree and asked him to throw it into the water. Just like that, the water became sweet and they all rejoiced.
The journey went on. They arrived at Elim, an oasis full of water with 70 palm trees. Now, imagine how the Israelites would react if there were no palm trees there. Perhaps they would complain again, “What kind of oasis has no tree at all?”
This was the story of the nerve-wrecking journey to the Promised Land where dead ends seemingly appear more often than drinkable water. No dead-end should make you question His omniscience. With God there are no dead-ends. Always remember, when there is no way out around, upwards is always open to address your concern. One research states that people who complain have a longer lifespan! Of course, this depends on the reason why they complain. But in this case, the first generation of Israelites who were led to the Promised Land never made it there. Why? Because the constant complaining and distrust in the LORD shortened their life.
To the Israelites, God has spoken, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).

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Pastor's Notes

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