"BITTER, INDEED, THE WATERS ARE" is Hymn No. 13 in Book I of John Newton's famous Olney Hymnal of 1779. I have written a new melody for Mr. Newton's incredible sacred poem, hoping that many believers will want to sing it.
The LORD Jesus Christ is a glorious God! But we all are blind to Him and His great glory because of our sin. The temporal, fleeting things of this life and this world are the things that we, in our sin-induced blindness, will highly esteem. And unless God intervenes, we will remain in our sins to the day of our death. The wicked who never saw the glory of God in Christ or knew the devastation of sin, will live on earth, having born no fruit to God and will die without any hope of joy in the eternal existence to come. In eternity, they must and will be judged for their sin.
Don't be fooled! Hell is real, eternal and is the destination of every soul who lives and dies without the LORD Jesus Christ. Most so-called "religious" groups and denominations just lie for political and monetary gain. They laugh hell away with their own teachings. But the truth concerning judgment for sin is clearly outlined in God's Word, The Bible.
Isn't there any way out? Yes! There is a Saviour! His Name is JESUS and He is known and apprehended by revelation of Himself to chosen sinners. He reveals Himself to His people, takes away the scales from their eyes, the hardness from their hearts, the deadness from their souls. He causes these people to love and esteem Christ above all things, for this glorious Man has put away their sin by the sacrifice of Himself on their behalf. How? Where? AT THE CROSS and in the resurrection of His Body on the 3rd day. His people died in Him and were raised to new life in Him. At the cross, the LORD Jesus was "saving Himself", for His people ARE the Body of Christ.
Mind-blowing, yes, but sinners apprehend these truths by His faith.
But aren't we all "sinners"? Well, yes. The LORD said that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But only His chosen people will admit that they are "sinners". The knowledge of sin comes by the revelation of Christ through His Word. This is a great miracle, and a token of the Spirit of God beginning a work in the soul. The LORD continues the work of His Salvation by revealing Himself as the solution for sin, for He became sin for each and every one of His Own people. And at the cross and in the resurrection, we are made the righteousness of God in Him. As one famous believer has said, "A sinner is a sacred thing!"
John Newton expounds these great truths in his sacred poem, "The Bitter Waters", from Exodus 15. The children of Israel are sojourning through the dry, dusty wilderness not long after the LORD delivered them out of the bondage of Egypt with a Mighty Hand. Who hasn't heard the thrilling account of how the LORD divided the Red Sea asunder, enabling every soul to pass by on dry ground to the other side? But the thrill of those exhiliarating events is dimming now as this great multitude begins to be hungry and thirsty in the middle of nowhere.
Longing for a taste of cool, clean water, they come upon a place where the waters are bitter and foul. In their doubt, unbelief, haste and rebellion, they cry to Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"
Moses calls out to the LORD on behalf of the people of God and the LORD tells Moses how to make those bitter waters sweet. If you are not familiar with this story, please read Exodus 15 for yourself.
Newton says, a "wonder-working wood can make those bitter waters good". The tree cast into the foul waters of Marah is a symbol of the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. In Galatians 6:14, the cross that Paul spoke of is not the wooden tree on which our LORD died, but rather the doctrine of the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God. The LORD Jesus had no sin, but He became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
What a picture God has graciously painted! The whole world is a dry, dusty wilderness. The waters running through it appear to be good, but prove to be foul, for truly, there is no satisfaction to man's soul in anything on earth devoid of the presence of Christ. Man will drink and drink and will finally die. Unless the foul, sin-sullied waters of this life on earth are made sweet and eternally beneficial by the Person and Work of our LORD Jesus Christ, there is no hope for man. Without Christ, man is a goner, now and forevermore.
The wood, the tree, that makes the bitter waters of sin and death sweet and potable is Christ Hiimself. Jesus is, as Newton has said, "...the healing tree, known and prized by few."
What a blessing this project has been to my soul ! I pray that many others will be abundantly blessed by it, too. The music notation is FREE for you to download at http://media.sermonaudio.co...