Summary: Promise Land We have been set free . . . now what? It isn’t enough to break out of bondage unless we learn to move to blessed. In order to do so we must find and live in promise land!
Pt. 1 - Promises
The man who thought he was actually God has been defeated. Pharaoh and his armies have been swallowed in the retreating waters of the Red Sea. This brings to end the 430 years of harsh and brutal treatment of Israelite slaves who had been captive in Egypt. Dramatically and miraculously God has intervened, and deliverance has come. We spent 4 weeks looking at some of the deliverance dilemmas that the Hebrews faced so that we could learn what obstacles present themselves in our cry for freedom. But now they slaves are free. Now what? The fact is God tells them the "now what" before they are ever set free. It is found in . . .
Text: Exodus 3:7-8 (ESV)
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
Let me stop a second and mention to you that when God speaks in the middle of your bondage (and He will) that often we are so desperate for a word to address our current situation that we often miss the fact that He is usually also giving us a word for our future. The Israelites miss it. Because of the severity of their bondage I think all they hear was the word freedom and failed to hear the rest of the statement. Notice that God not only talks to them about freedom He also makes them a promise. He addressed their destination and the process for possession. They heard freedom and ignored future. They heard deliverance and ignored destiny. There is a problem here because what He delivers us from is not as important as understanding what He has delivered to and for. God is revealing to them that unless we move from bondage to blessed . . . freedom is wasted. God will never just deliver us to nothing. Deliverance from must lead to freedom to or freedom for. We cry for deliverance. But if He sets us free ... why? To conquer, take territory, take dominion of what?
This lack of understanding results in the part of the story we are familiar with . . . the freed men dragging their tired feet, through the hot sands of the desert, in sandals that wouldn't wear out for the next 40 years. An 11-day journey turns into a 40 year long funeral march of futility. For the next 40 years God is no longer trying to get them out of Egypt. Instead He is determined to get Egypt out of them. The interim is called wilderness or circling/wandering. And herein lies the first lesson about the promises of God . . .
Promises are prepared for us. Sometimes we aren’t prepared for the promise.
The wilderness prepares us for promise. How many of us have been delivered only to circle? How many of us knew 20 years ago what God said would take place in our life but because we didn't adjust or obey, we are still spinning our wheels? How many of us knew 2 years ago what God said but today we are still circling the same spiritual scenery, same lessons over and over again simply because we haven't prepared for the promise? The promise came that you would be a giant killer have you prepared with your sling before the giant showed up? Later in the account you know that as they approach the Promised Land, Moses sends out spies to view the land. They get there and see that the land is exactly as God said it would be including the giants He told them about. And the spies prove you can receive a promise, long for a promise and also fail to experience the promise because you haven't prepared for the promise. Some of you have a promise that you have been circling for years and you will continue to circle until you do what is necessary to prepare to handle what He wants to give you. He won't give it to you until you prepare otherwise you would waste it. He won 't give you the relationship until you deal with your tone, your anger, your pettiness. He won't give you the promotion until you deal with your pride or you will take credit for it. He won't give you your dream until you deal with your fear of failure or you will refuse to take the risk necessary. He won't give you a platform until you deal with your desire to please man or you will only say what they want you to say! Some of you are in the wilderness, dry times simply because God is waiting on you to prepare. I want to say it again . . . the wilderness prepares you for the promise!