Between a Rock and a Hard place
Exodus chapter 14:10-14:14
This mourning I want to talk about the hard spots that we face in our life. I don’t care who you are, there are times that we face obstacles and situations that are much bigger than we are. Those times that we need God’s help.
Can you imagine going about your business and one day your life changes dramatically and you have on your shoulder the responsibility of 2 million people and you are backed up into a situation that no humanly way you could get out. That is what happened to Moses and sometimes we find ourselves in those same hard spots. It is there that God wants to show and teach us life lessons. Are we willing to learn them and apply them?
Let’s look into Moses life and learn from his experiences.
Moses tending the sheep of his father-in law and observes a burning bush in the field and upon investigating the bush, the Lord Himself speaks to Him from it.
The Lord tells Moses that he will lead Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians. That the Lord has heard the prayers of His people.
After a series of power struggles between Moses and God, Moses goes to Pharaoh and demands the release of God’s people.
Things do not go well. Pharaoh is not impressed and makes it harder on the Israelites.
Chapter 6- God promises deliverance after Moses cries out to God.
“O. Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Ever sense I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people.”
Moses battles the magicians of Pharaoh.
God shows his power by sending numerous plagues upon Egypt.
Till one night in chapter 12 of Exodus
(13) “During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites. Go! Worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go! And bless me.”
After all the plagues.
The loss of Pharaoh’s firstborn, he has had enough- Go!
Get out of my country. Go worship your God. Take all your stuff and Go!
Short time later, he has a second thought and realized that he just released over two million would be slaves and he goes after them to bring them back for slaves.
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, if they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt, So God lead the people around the desert road toward the Red Sea.”
Here is where I want to bring you to the text and to the points of this message.
The Israelites running for their lives to get where God had promised them and they are faced by obstacles on all sides.
Anyone know what I am talking about !
Those times that we are trying to do what is right.
Those times trying to do what we believe the Lord has told us.
Those times that our faith is strained to the max. and the enemy seems to be pursuing us and we have no place to go.
Those times we have no answers
Times we have no human alternatives.
Between a rock and a hard place!
The times when we have to choose between two un-satisfactory options.
Other phrases of unsatisfactory choices
Between the devil and the deep blue sea
An offer you can’t refuse
Catch 22- Joseph Heller book. A paradox in which the attempt to escape makes escape impossible.
Back to the drawing board
Bad hair day
Doom and gloom
Face the music
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
The problem is they can’t stand the heat and can’t get out of the kitchen.
Exodus chapter 14:10-14 (Text)
Have you ever found yourself in a predicament?
Up against the wall!
We all have- some this morning may be there right now!
The Israelites found themselves between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place may just be the spot the Lord has to bring you too so that He can accomplish what he needs to accomplish in your life.
A little boy was leading his sister up a mountain path and the way was not easy. Why this isn’t a path at all, the little girl complained. “it’s all rocky and bumpy.” Her little brother kept up the mountain, pausing just long enough to call out, “sure, but the bumps are what you climb on.”
Sometimes the very thing we see as an obstacle, are the things that the Lord allows in our life as a stepping stone to get us out of the situation that we are in. (repeat)
The fact of the matter is this- just because you name the name of Jesus does not exempt you from the challenges of life. Amen!
We will all face times of pressure and times of exhaustion and times we do not know what we will do.
Popcorn isn’t popcorn until it gets put in the fire, put under some pressure before it becomes what it is intended to be.
You may this morning be right there- feeling like no escape, no help, no where to run, and it may be right where God wants you this morning.
What are you going to do with it this morning?
The Lord sees where you are at this morning, and He can also see you where you can be with His help.
God shows up in His timing- not ours.
God is never early, and He is never late. He is right on time if we will let Him.
The problem with Israel was simple- they forgot God.
They forgot that God had brought them to that point.
They forgot that when God makes a promise that it does not matter what the circumstances look like.
Sometimes your circumstance has to play out according to God’s plan for your life.
We try to fix it.
We try to hurry it.
We try to change it.
Sometimes Jesus + nothing = changed circumstance (repeat)
The Red Sea for Israel served a purpose.
That purpose was to let them know that they could not do it alone.
The text I just read
“For God said, if they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt, So God lead the people around the desert road toward the Red Sea.”
The Egyptians did not corner the Israelites.
God lead them to the Red Sea so that He could provide for His people at the right time.
God had a purpose to bring them to the Red Sea. It did not happen by chance. It was not a coincidence.
It was a divine moment where God was in control when it did not look like it by us or by the Israelites.
The Red Sea for you this morning serves a purpose.
It may be to glorify God.
It may be to draw you closer to God.
It may be to get something in or out of your life.
It has purpose!
“But I will glory for myself through Pharaoh and his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
God may use you to get the attention of your enemy to realize that God is in control.
You may be right where God wants you- doing exactly what God wants you to do.
Understand that when you accepted Christ that you gave Him permission to use you as He sees fit.
If you have not realized it yet, God plan is not executed the way that you would have done it! Because he will show us and others that He is God and we are not!
God’s plan is not logical by human standards-
“My ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts are higher than your thoughts”
“Preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but, unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
God did not intend for the Israelites to die in the desert or to be drowned by the Red Sea.
He intended to do what he intended- take them to the promised land.
When we are in that hard spot, we assume the worst, and sometimes we go to places in our mind that we should not.
The Israelites thought that the Egyptians were coming to kill them in the desert. They did not want to kill them. They wanted to bring them back and make them slaves. They assumed they would be killed.
The Israelites backed up against the Red Sea- assumed that God intended to have them killed or drowned trying to escape. He wanted to release them from their bondage.
God’s perspective, which is the only one that counts is that He did not intend for anything to happen to them but was going to provide deliverance and keep His promise to His people.
He meant it- “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance of the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” Amen.!
The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.
Remember today if you are facing a Red Sea experience.
It only seems impossible to you- it is possible with God!
Confidence that God will do what He has promised!
They say confidence is going after Moby Dick with a rowboat, a harpoon, and a jar of tartar sauce. Amen.
Here it is for you this morning- this may be for you.
When we are up against the hard spots, the Red Sea experiences- remember this
1. God’s plan will not be executed the way you think it should
2. His plan is not logical by human standards
I wrestled all week with this message. Almost got a message about Gideon. Even with Gideon. He started out with 32,000 men, God got them down to 300 to accomplish His task. And to show everyone that it is a God thing, God moment, it is not logical, but it is God
Illustration (surgeon and an 8 year old boy) Sermoncentral
“Tomorrow mourning I’ll open up your heart the surgeon said to the 8 year old boy.
You’ll find Jesus there, the boy said.
The surgeon continued, I’ll open your heart and check the damage.
You’ll find Jesus there the boy said.
When I see the damage, I will suture you back up and then think about the next step, said the surgeon.
You will find Jesus in my heart because my Sunday school teacher told me so. She said it says so in the Bible. Besides that, our Sunday school song says that He lives there, said the boy.
The surgery took place the next day. After the surgery the surgeon began to make notes of what he found. In his mind there was no hope and no cure. The little boy would die within a matter of months. The thought began to get to the doctor and all of a sudden the doctor shouted to God, why did you do this to this little boy? Why can’t he live a normal life?
God spoke to the surgeon’s heart and said, this boy is a part of my flock and will always be a part of my flock. When he is with me there will be no more pain and suffering. He will have comfort and peace. One day his parents as well as you will join him and my flock will continue to grow. The next day the surgeon went to the boy’s room and sat down with the parents beside the bed. In a moment or two, the boy opened his eyes and asked very quietly, what did you find in my heart? With tears flowing down the doctor’s face, the surgeon said, “I found Jesus there.”
You see between the Rock (Jesus Christ) and a hard place is a good place to be.