Sunday, July 15, 2007

Exodus 14:10-31 - When there Seems to be No Way

Pray and Read: Exodus 12:10-31

Opening thought:

Have you heard the now old chorus, “God will make a Way?”

God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me closely to his side. In love and strength for each new day, He will make a way. He will make a way.

That’s what we are going to talk about today. In what you are dealing with, the obstacle you are up against, God will make a way. If you are in a rock and hard place, if your only options really aren’t options at all, then listen closely today. Maybe you’ll get some encouragement like I did.

Contextual Notes:

The Ten Plagues have worked in Egypt. The Hebrew slaves were free. The angel of death passed over their homes, and they fled Egypt and left slavery behind. By the time the Egyptian government figures out that they have lost their labor force, they have to arm themselves in chariots, the superior weapon of the day, and head out to chase down Moses and the Israelites.

This passage begins where the tiring and seemingly suicidal march into the desert has positioned them literally between a rock and a hard place. Martin Luther says they were like a mouse in a trap or a partridge in a snare. Their choices were the desert, the sea, or the enemy.

They could head toward the desert. With all the children and baggage and animals, the lack of water meant certain death. They could head toward their enemies, try to negotiate with them to allow them back as slaves and not slaughter them, but with the fierce charge of the Egyptian chariots and cavalry on the straggling masses of the fugitives, that seemed untenable as well. The only other option was crazy. Head to the sea and either make a stand or try to swim. Neither the attendant slaughter nor the prospect of a watery grave was a palatable option.

God kept telling them what seemed the most insane thing of all – stand still! He promised he would do the fighting. The marvelous story that follows is today called the Crossing of the Red Sea.

Exposition:

In the midst of the trial, when there seems to be no way,

1. Fear only multiplies problems (Exodus 14:10-12):

a. Fear causes mob actions without thinking (14:11-12). Operating out of panic never works. Intimidation by others is forced fear

b. Fear raises false accusations against leadership (14:11)

c. Fear causes irrational thinking. It prompts you to go back on wise, well-thought decisions of the past (14:12)

d. You’ve heard of horses running back into a flaming barn from which they were just rescued. Panic makes you lose your mind.

When there seems to be no way,

2. Trust the Lord and be still (Exodus 14:13-14)

a. Refuse to submit to fear and intimidation of the enemy (14:13)

b. Stop, look up to the Lord, and gain His perspective (14:13)

i. “Stand firm”

ii. “See the deliverance”

iii. “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”

iv. Moses had God’s vision and gave God’s leadership.

c. Let the Lord handle it and defend you (14:14)

i. As long as you fight for yourself, the Lord will not do anything for you.

When there seems to be no way,

3. Stop whining and listen (14:15-18)

a. Stop crying: Our prayers are often a one-way conversation, as we cry out to God everything that is wrong. He knows our situation. He has not forgotten you. Stop crying to Him and listen for His instructions (14:15)

b. Listen for and obey His instructions (14:16-18)

i. The Lord is practical and at the same time supernatural. It might have seemed kind of silly to Moses to be waving a stick around when the best-trained army in the world was bearing down on him, but the Lord’s common sense rarely makes sense to ours. His ways are higher than our ways.

When there seems to be no way,

4. God is there protecting you (14:19-22)

a. God’s angels stand guard at our weakest point (14:19) (rear-guard)

b. God will places Himself between you and the obstacle (14:20)

When there seems to be no way,

5. God will open a way you didn’t expect. (14:21-22)

a. You’ll marvel at Him. He has your best interest in mind, and His solutions defy human ingenuity or demonic strategy. His solution will blow your mind.

When there seems to be no way,

6. The Lord deals with your enemies (14:23-28)

a. He lets the enemy overplay his hand (14:23)

i. The Egyptians thought that they could take advantage of the dry ground, too, and headed into the sea bed.

b. He watches and works better than we can (14:24-25)

i. God can take apart the very things that give the enemy superiority (14:25). He can use their strengths against them.

c. He can wipe out your obstruction (14:26-28)When there seems to be no way,

7. The Lord will show you His might (14:29-31)

a. When you think about what just happened, you’ll be amazed. Did you see what God did? Did you see how God worked? (14:29)

b. God will show you the aftermath of victory (14:30)

i. The Israelites knew it was not a dream. The bodies floated up the next day and lay dead on the shore.

c. God’s demonstration of power is not for you to gloat, but for you to give glory to Him.

i. Fear gets to its proper place, a healthy respect for God (14:31)

ii. Trust in the Lord and His leadership over you results (14:31)

Application:

God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me closely to his side. In love and strength for each new day, He will make a way. He will make a way.

If you’re hemmed in on every side and don’t have a way out. It’s time to watch the Lord go to work on your behalf. If you belong to Him in Christ Jesus, trust Him. Your dilemma may be financial. It may be in your business or with your supervisor. It might be with your health. It might be with your marriage or your children. Here are a few applications from today’s lesson.

  • Don’t submit to fear. Fear will immobilize you, skew your thinking. Panic will cause you to do crazy things.
  • Trust the Lord. Trust His heart. Trust His character. Trust your obstacle to Him. He can handle it a whole lot better than you can anyway. Admit it.
  • Quit whining about yourself and listen to Him. The Lord has instructions for you in order for Him to make a way where there is none right now.
  • Obey without reservation. Don’t question it. Don’t wait on four hundred confirmations. Obey with abandonment. Your obedience opens channels of blessing from the Throne.
  • Thank Him for His faithfulness. Reflect on His work in your life. Tell your children about how God worked in your life. Tell your church. Tell your co-workers. Give Him the glory for the great things He has done in your life.

Invitation:

If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, submitted to Him as your Lord, then none of this applies to you. The Lord does these things for His own, His sheep. Are you one?

It may seem to you that there is no way you can be one of His own. You feel too dirty, too many things have happened to you. God can make a way where there seems to be no way. In fact, He already has. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way. The good news is that Jesus Christ died on a cross for you to cover all those sins for you.

All you have do is admit your need of Christ Jesus because of your sin, and ask Him to cleanse you and be your Lord forever, and he will transform your life into an eternal one, one which will never die, one which will experience the joys of eternal life here and now. Won’t you receive Him?