How will you react?
July 17, 2012
For the past few weeks, we have been using Ephesians 3:20 to look at how God’s ability plus our willingness or trust in Him allows God to work more than we can imagine or ask. Here is our equation:
God's ability + our willingness = God working more than we could imagine or ask.
Hopefully by now, you are starting to notice a pattern. Since we know that God is sovereign and does not change, then we can presume that our willingness often keeps God from working in our lives far more than we can imagine.
What happens, though, when there is no possible way out? What do you do when you have lost your job and can’t pay the bills? What do you do when a loved one turns his back on Christ? What do you do when you are at the end of the rope?
Last week we looked at Exodus 12 and how God used the Passover to free the children of Israel from slavery. As the story continues, Moses began to lead the people out of Egypt. In an amazing act of God that only He could do, Moses and the Israelites were lead through the wilderness by a pillar shaped cloud during the day and a fiery pillar by night. They followed God’s lead and He was with them every step of the way. Pharaoh was not about to let his free labor get away, so he amassed an army to go get them. Meanwhile, God led the Israelites to a place called Baal-zephon. Exodus 14:9-12:
. 9 Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. 10As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. 11 Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 "Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians '? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."
If you were an Israelite, at the time things were going great! You had been a slave all your life, but God sent Moses and used the plagues to set you free! You knew God was with you because you were following a giant cloud during the day, and at night, the giant fire in the sky was keeping you warm and probably scaring all the wild animals away. But in a second all of it changed. The people panicked. They thought it would be better to have been a slave back in Egypt than to be in this situation.
The Israelites had no way out. To the Israelites backs was the Red Sea, to the south was a desert, and to the north the Egyptians had large forts with armies that could easily capture them. They could not go back the way they came because the Egyptians were blocking them.
Thinking about this situation, the children of Israel were panicked. I am sure people were screaming and crying. Some of the people may have been looking for places to hide. Not Moses. Exodus 14:13-14:
13 But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."
Moses was right there with the Israelites; he was trapped just like they were. Moses knew God had the power to do more than we can ever think or imagine.
Most of you know what happens next! Exodus 14:15b-16.
15b Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 "As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”
In one of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament, God opens a door in what was thought of as a wall. He parted the sea and allowed the Israelites to cross on dry land. The Egyptians must have possessed an “if you can do it, I can do it attitude;” they went to cross the Red sea and God released the waters and killed Pharaoh’s army.
In a situation that seems impossible, when it looks like there is no way out, who will you be? Will you be the one in a panic franticly running around looking for an escape? Or will you be like Moses, who listened to God’s voice for direction and trusted Him with simple obedience?