Moses knew God's ways and was prepared in advance. The children of Israel were not prepared. When they came to the Red Sea, the people complained to Moses,but Moses went to God (Psa 106:7-8). They were the recipients of Grace, but God was not pleased with them (1Co 10:1-6, 1Co 10:11). As a type of what was to come, Israel were identified with Moses (three days in the wilderness - Exo 15:22-27). The Lord is our fortress -- the wilderness was the fortress for the children of Israel (Exo 15:2, Psa 18:2, Psa 91:2). "Marah" = bitterness, disillusion -- the people complained against Moses (Exo 15:23-24, Ruth 1:20). Moses called out to God and the tree represents Christ taking the bitterness out of life (Exo 15:25). "I am the Lord who heals you". They find themselves at an oasis and want to stay there (Exo 15:26-27). God tested them intensely and comprehensively -- soothing aroma for God (Lev 29:18, Lev 26:31, Eph 5:2). God, as He tests us to find out what is in us, He demonstrates the fragrant aroma -- but it is either a aroma of life or a stench to those who reject (2Co 2:16). The purpose for testing: (1) God uses both adversity and prosperity to test us -- it spans the scope of human experience. (2) The testing reveals our soul in submission to or rejection of God. (3) In testing, what is revealed is our response to the word we've heard. (4) Response to God's word is in three stages: hearing or "heed", "to give ear" -- hearing with the intention of applying, and obedience or "to keep" (Exo 15:26). (5) Once God gives us His word He will send or permit testing (1Pe 1:6) -- reward follows we should rejoice (Jam 1:2-4); we become wiser and closer to God like Moses. Application: in every trail we have a reminder of death, burial and resurrection. In carnality we will complain to God, but can turn to God in faith and prayer. God opens our eyes to see the provision of the cross -- a blessing and victory. Every bitter experience can be turned into blessing for us and others -- it's a test to see if we will trust and obey. Prosperity test are the greater challenge, focusing on the gift not the Giver. Jesus was an example: He was baptized to identify with a repenting nation then was tested (Luk 3:21-22, Rom 8:14, Luk 4:1-13). When He leads us into the wilderness where fears and doubts overwhelm, His purpose is to take the truth we've learned and to apply it so that we intensify/increase fellowship. Jesus public ministry began at this point (Luk 4:14). Testing is a precious thing in God's sight.