Summary: God can set us free by His power alone
BEING SET FREE BY GOD’S POWER
EX. 13:17-18, 21-22. 14:10-14, 21-22, 30-31
President Dwight Eisenhower spoke these words in his first inaugural address on January 20, 1953, “History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak and timid. He knew first hand the cost of victory as well as the heavy burden of freedom that follows. Charles Kingsley wrote, “There are two freedoms, the first is the false one where we believe man is free to do whatever he likes, and the second is true, where a man is free to do what he ought to do.” The story we have today is about the Israelites who were God’s people who struggled with these freedoms and I would say we also struggle with them today. Today I want us to know the mark of maturity is to learn that freedom is a tool to build our lives on. Freedom involves accepting responsibility for what we do. In Exodus 13, 14 we see ways of success in our freedom:
FOLLOWING THE LORD 13:17-22 He knows the way we are going.
When this nation came out of Egypt it was the beginning of there experience and not an ending. Some has said it took one night to get out of Egypt but it took years to get Egypt out of the nation. If they obeyed the Lord He would bring them into the Promised Land. This is learning for us today that God saves a person from sin and that is the beginning of life but comes only as we obey. God sets us free from sin and then led us through various experiences day by day so that we will know Him better and grow in faith.
1. GOD PLANS FOR THE WAY HIS PEOPLE SHOULD go 17, 18. God is never taken by surprise. He had a plan for the way he wanted his people to go. In our lives he knows and plans for the way we should go. We may not understand it or agree with it but we know his way is the best for us. “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” We can pray, “Show me your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me.” 25:4, 5 As the Israelites were enroute there were some I am sure who said “Let us take the shortest and easiest route.” God knew the longer route would be better for them because the shortest route would bring them against forces they were not ready for. God’s way may lead us in a longer way that we may choose but he knows what we can handle and leads us in His best way. Pro. 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” God knows what He is doing and is not in a hurry. You are safe in the place where his blessing rests upon you.
2. GOD IS ALONE THE ONE TO PLACE OUR FAITH IN. 19. Joseph knew that God would not fail in His promise and he asked that his bones be carried into the Promised Land. Here it is some 400 years later and God was doing what he said. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, Joseph had said, "God will definitely come to help you.” As they carried Joseph’s coffin it reminded them of how God kept him through his life and that same God was leading them. What do you have that helps you remember God is able to lead and guide you? Whatever it is as they help your faith in the Lord continue to walk in Him.
3. GOD GOES BEFORE US TO LEAD IN HIS WAY. 20-22. What a sight that must have been. A cloud by day and a pillar of light by night that all the people could see. This light was an angel of the Lord. We have angels all around us today. This cloud sheltered the people from the hot burning sun of the day. God shelters us from the heat of the devil’s assault on us. The Word of God is with us today which is a light and a fire. This light back then gave light to the Israelites but darkness to the Egyptians as today the light of God’s word is for believers but those without God do not understand it. The Spirit of God who is the Spirit of truth guides us today by giving the true meaning of the Word. We are not to take a vote today as to which part of God’s word we are to believe or decide among ourselves how God is leading.