Watch "The Healing Tree" and use this as a study guide on your own or with your small group.
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
And Miriam answered them, sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore, the name of it was called Marah.
And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
- Nothing affects your life like when you are going through one hit after another . . . you think it’s over . . . and then WHAM! it gets worse.
Q: Have you ever felt like this? What kinds of things go through your mind in times like this?
Q: Share about a time you can remember that was like this—even if it’s right now.
- Hit after hit can lead to bitterness.
Q: What is your definition of “bitterness?”
Q: Reflect on a time when you were bitter, but overcame it.
Q: Are you struggling with bitterness right now?
- The path out of the bitter place is found in brokenness. Enough brokenness to cry unto God.
Q: Brokenness empties you of yourself, and this allows the love of God to inhabit the former bitter spaces. Describe the last time you felt true brokenness:
Q: Brokenness opens the door to a way out, a light at the end of the tunnel. Can you see how brokenness can be a good place to start your turn-around?
- Brokenness opens our eyes to the provision God has for us—The Healing Tree
Q: The sermon implies that bitterness blinds us by limiting our vision to only the object of our pain or rejection. What doors of opportunity and relationship are open when you take your eyes off your pain and place them on the rest of the horizon?
Q: Remember and reflect on a time when you experienced brokenness, but out of your brokenness came something amazing.
- The date of your deliverance has already been decreed.
Q: What a powerful statement! A truth and a NOW word. What would “deliverance” look like in any troubled situation you are facing right now?
Q: What stands between your situation and your deliverance?
Don’t stop there in the bitter place. Don’t get discouraged there in the bitter place. Just on the other side of the bitter water is 12 wells of blessing and 70 palm trees of shade, comfort and prosperity that God has prepared for you if you pass this test. He doesn’t want you to camp out at the bitter place. He’s taking you to a better place. Pass through the bitter water, but say, “I’m not staying here. I have my eye on 70 palm trees and 12 wells of living water.”
I believe this is the Word of the Lord for our nation and for every family, every marriage and every person who has come into contact with bitter waters. Do not allow the diseases of Egypt (bitterness, anger, revenge, indecision, doubting God) to overtake you. Instead, trust God and say, “I refuse to take on all of that stuff. You’re God, and I’m not. I’m yours, and where you lead me, I will follow. I know you haven’t called me to live here. I’m not going to camp here. I’m just going to pass through.”
If you do that, then you will be like the Egyptians when they drank of the water in Marah; it gave them enough strength to get where God was taking them! They exchanged one bitter pool for 12 wells of precious, delicious water. They exchanged one broken-down tree for 70 palm trees of shade and comfort.
Don’t lose heart! Don’t become bitter. Place yourself at the feet of Jesus as a broken vessel.