Summary: Moses was a great leader and yet took a great deal of abuse. For those who insist on believing salvation is the end to problems--it’s the FRONT end! Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
Back Against the Wall
Have you ever felt like your back was against a wall? Ever been between a rock and a hard place, with nowhere to turn? Or maybe you’ve put in a lot of time going down a winding avenue of life only to find it is a dead end.
Moses was a great man, and a great leader. He’s a great model for all men and fathers today! At this point in the story he has led God’s people from slavery to freedom, and all 2-3 million of them are marching toward the Promised Land. It’s the Exodus from Egypt! “Out of Africa!” Free at last for the first time in over 400 years. The NT confirms this is a picture of our salvation from sin, the wicked taskmaster that seeks to hold us in chains of bondage, bitterness, and burdens.
“He set me free, He broke the bonds of prison for me
I’m glory bound, my Jesus to see, and glory to God, He set me free!”
They are marching out, ‘high handed’, rejoicing in their new freedom when suddenly they encounter...
A shady picnic pavilion? No.
A golden city of riches and happiness? No. That’s where the TV evangelist lives on the monies from the simple minded who believe that’s what the Christian life is all about.
No, they encounter a big brick wall...a problem.
Have you discovered yet that being saved doesn’t insulate nor isolate you from the problems of this sin cursed world? For those who insist on believing salvation is the end to problems I say, ok, but it’s the front end! Struggles and difficulties continue, and oft times increase when you get saved, for now you have a new enemy coming after you! Pharaoh is a picture of Satan pursuing his losses.
The Christian life is not lived in straight lines. God deals us detours along the way, and they are for our benefit. A straight line from Egypt to Canaan would have been about 150 miles NE and would take less than 2 weeks to traverse. But God takes them SE...the long way around.
13:21 The glory cloud seems to be leading in the wrong direction, though. The same happens to all of us. We have a goal, a destination in our mind, some place we want to go, something we want to become or achieve. Sometimes we even know that God is in it and wants us to get there, but we just can’t understand why it’s taking so long. Can you relate?
Ill.—I went to Bible college for 2 reasons. To get a Christian education and to get a woman [not necessarily in that order]. It’s a ‘target rich’ environment, so after more than 2 years there and with no prospects I’m wondering what’s wrong with me! Meanwhile, a little girl in PA is happy after graduation to stay in her local town and work, look for Mr. Right, settle down and raise a family. How a beauty like that could remain unfettered for years is beyond me, and she was wondering, just like I was, why she couldn’t find someone. She finally threw her hands up in the air and said, Lord, I give up, I’m gonna stop looking and you’ll just have to make things happen if they’re ever gonna. Don’t you know that’s when God brought someone into her life that went far beyond all her dreams!
God’s delays are not denials. Don’t be discouraged if God has you on a detour route...He knows what He’s doing! “My Lord knows the way thru the wilderness...all I have to do is follow!”
Another lesson: God knows what we can handle. If He led them in the straight line to Canaan, they would have passed right thru the land of the Philistines, brutal warriors who were blood thirsty. But God’s people were not ready for that. They weren’t seasoned warriors, they were slaves w/ no weapons of war.
Ill.—I graduated from Bible college in the early 90s and felt immediately ready to go somewhere and be a pastor...I felt like I was God’s gift and couldn’t wait to go and make the day of some lucky church. In case you don’t know, I didn’t become a Pastor until 2001, right here. Why not? Because God knew I wasn’t ready for that yet. Before I could lead I had to learn to follow. 10 years it took, and all 10 years I spent wanting to be the Pastor, but learning to submit to one. Now I’m in my 7th year here of saying, Lord, I had it made as an Assistant Pastor!
Ill.—I was like the guy who traveled w/ the circus, scooping up what the elephants left behind them. Someone said to him, you ought to quit...this is the worst job in the world. He replied, “What? And leave show business?” I cleaned the baptistery and toilets, drove buses and changed the sign, emptied the trash and the gutters, painted and laid carpet, and if anyone suggested I quit and do something else I said, “What? And leave the ministry?” God was preparing me, and today I’m so glad I spent that decade learning rather than leading, and that makes me want to patiently wait even today for all God has planned for us right here!