Summary: Message 4 in our exodus journey with the Israelites. This message explores the difficulty and deliverance at the Red Sea.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
"BOXED IN FOR GROWTH AND GLORY"
This is the forth in a series of messages tracing Israel’s journey to rest. Their experience effectively illustrates the key elements involved in any walk of faith. Only a life that functions by faith can please God.
But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Galatians 3:11
The account of Israel’s journey to realize God’s promise graphically illustrates the difficulties and delights of trusting God for our life. All our life we will face paralyzing obstacles and a pursuing enemy. The disturbing difficulties we encounter in this devil-directed world serve to bring us to a greater sense of our helplessness and God’s holiness; our powerlessness and God’s power. Only when we stop trying to improve the impossible and control the uncontrollable, will we begin to realize the indispensable; a meaningful life is a life devoted to pursuing the Immortal. God must sometimes employ severe measures to get us to adjust our perspective and priorities and firmly fix our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Life’s trials serve to slow us down long enough to face the issues on the inside that prevent victory on the outside. Like a river boxed into a canyon and harnessed, trials block us in so that we can realize that God provides a continual source of energy and strength to meet any problem we may face. None of us like difficult situations and would not enter them if we had the choice, but God uses them to bring growth for us and glory for Him. God must sometimes force us into a canyon of complications in order that we might learn to trust Him and not our own ingenuity.
Hopefully, buy looking at Israel, we will better understand a universal spiritual principle.
God deliberately designs difficulties (in the believer's life) to display His greater glory and direct our greater growth.
God pins us in with problems to produce greater praise for Him and greater progress for us. God gains glory, recognition, credit, praise, attention as He powerfully orchestrates the events of a devil-directed world system to bring about divinely-declared purposes and fulfillment of promises. We experience growth as we learn to trust in His character in spite of our circumstances. We must not only perceive this principle but apply it. Let’s see what we can learn about this perceiving and practicing this principle by again tracking the Israelites in their journey to possess the promise of rest in God. How should we respond to the truth that God sometimes deliberately designs difficulties to display His greater glory and direct our greater growth?
BRIEF HISTORICAL REVIEW
Israel had endured 400 plus years of suffering and severe slavery at the hand of Egypt. God personally groomed a humble yet powerful leader to lead nearly three million people to God’s promised rest. God promised freedom from bondage and a land of unimaginable resources. God miraculously brought about their deliverance from Egypt through a mighty demonstration of His power over the demonic powers operating among the Egyptians and holding the Israelites captive. God also granted them favor with the Egyptian people who showered the people with supplies for their journey and abundance of resources for a new start in the Promised Land. God provided them with everything necessary for the journey. By the way, God also delivers us and supplies us with every necessary resource for our journey and the realization of our new life of faith. God even used the years of servitude and hard labor to strengthen them physically for the strenuous journey. They had plenty of provisions. They were clearly directed by God’s continual supernatural presence. (Cloud/Torch) God aware, of their fledgling faith, directed them on a route that avoided immediate warfare. Like us, their salvation experience did not bring an end to problems and struggles. God provided ample opportunities to develop their faith all along the way. We will see however that they failed to learn some very simple basic lessons about faith. This experience contains all of the elements of a victorious walk and sets the standard for victory all the rest of the way through the wilderness.
I found four distinct phases in this part of their faith walk.
I. God deliberately designed a difficult situation 1-9
A. God consciously positioned His children 1-2