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, Exodus 15:23–25
What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
Bitter, indeed, the waters are
Which in this desert flow;
Though to the eye they promise fair,
They taste of sin and woe.
Of pleasing draughts I once could dream,
But now, awake, I find,
That sin has poisoned every stream,
And left a curse behind.
But there’s a wonder-working wood,
I’ve heard believers say,
Can make these bitter waters good,
And take the curse away.
The virtues of this healing tree
Are known and prized by few;
Reveal this secret, Lord, to me,
That I may prize it too.
The cross on which the Savior died,
And conquered for His saints;
This is the tree, by faith applied,
Which sweetens all complaints.
Thousands have found the blest effect,
Nor longer mourn their lot;
While on His sorrows they reflect,
Their own are all forgot.
When they, by faith, behold the cross,
Tho’ many griefs they meet;
They draw again from every loss,
And find the bitter sweet.