Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Mara - Passover aficionados will instantly remember this word and its taste; the name used for the horseradish that we use on the seder table. Our people were told to east the Passover lamb with their belts tucked around their waists, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, with their staffs in their hands, ready to leave Egypt (Shemot 12:8,11). If they were to eat a whole roast lamb, we might think that something bitter would be needed to help digest all the fat and grease of the meat or they would never get through it!
The word occurs again in the name that Naomi tells the women of Bethlehem to call her by when she returns from Moab without either a husband or sons who had all died in Moab. Naomi feels that the L-rd has dealt very bitterly with her (Ruth 1:20-21).
The writer to the Hebrews warns us not to let a root of bitterness spring up in our lives (Hebrews 12:15) lest it cause trouble for us or that we be defiled. What is the answer to bitterness? To keep short accounts with G-d at all times and to recognise that we do not always understand everything that He brings into our lives, but we can trust Him to know that whatever happens, He is there for us and will never leave us.