Exodus 15:22-27

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel in the Wilderness: Marah and Elim

Exodus 15:22-27

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God allows the bitter waters of Marah to test His people.
  2. God provides the pure waters of Elim to refresh His people.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t take this promise of healing too far.


  1. Review the events of the last two chapters.
  2. How did God’s law protect the Israelites’ physical health?
  3. What problem did the Israelites encounter at their first stop?
  4. How did God address this problem?
  5. What does God’s name Jehovah-Raphe mean?
  6. Can believers claim physical healing based on Exodus 15:26?


  1. Exodus 14 recorded the great miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. In the first half of Exodus 15 we read the Song of Moses, which the Children of Israel sang in celebration of God’s great victory and deliverance. Now we have the first two stops of the Israelites’ travels in the wilderness.
  2. If the people kept the laws regarding what was clean and unclean, and the laws concerning purification and defilement, they would be kept from germs, contamination, and other unsanitary situations.
  3. They traveled three days without water, when they arrived at Marah, the water there was too bitter to drink.
  4. He instructed Moses to cast a tree into the waters, which miraculously sweetened them.
  5. The Lord who heals
  6. No, that would be pulling the Scripture out of context.


  1. The entire journey of the Children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a spiritual picture of the Christian life. 1 Corinthians 10:11. The bitter waters of Marah represent the bitter experiences of life that God allows us to go through. What is the purpose of these trials? 1 Peter 1:7. How do we “sweeten” the bitter waters of life? Philippians 3:10 and Galatians 2:20.
  2. Praise the Lord, God not only allows the Marahs in our life, but He provides the Elims. Recall some of the Elim experiences in your Christian life, which God has used to refresh you.


  1. Have you applied the cross of Christ and died to self?

Key Verses

  • “And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water… and there He tested them.” Exodus 15:22,25
  • “…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

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