Summary: Desperation is often the harbinger to breakthrough. Although this message was preached prior to the presidential election, the principles taught still apply nationally and individually. How does God use desperation to ultimately bless us?
A. I have experienced a heightened awareness of God’s love for Israel this week. As you know this is the time of year when Israel is approaching the Feast of Tabernacles. We are currently in the midst of Ten Days of Awe which began last Sunday with the Feast of Trumpets and will conclude this Wednesday with Yom Kippur/the Day of Atonement. Perhaps that helps explain the attention I feel toward the nation of Israel. I noticed in the news that our administration in the White House is giving Israel a hard time concerning their settlements in the West Bank.i Of course, they have been relatively quiet about the terrorist attacks against Israel.ii I hope we can get someone in the White House who will stand up for Israel rather than oppose this ally.iii Israel is God’s chosen nation, even if they are currently in a state of unbelief. God is working a plan in that nation and He will defend that plan. We saw that in the Six Day War and even in the daily survival of that tiny nation. I hope we can get somebody in the White House who will be a friend to Israel rather than condemn her. As a nation, we are currently treading on thin ice.
B. I want to begin this morning talking about God’s dealings with Israel; then make some applications for our own lives. 1 Cor. 10:11 tells us to do that. Paul says that Israel’s experience is recorded for our admonition. In principle, the way God dealt with Israel is the way He will deal with you.iv If He blessed their obedience, He will bless your obedience. If He chastens their disobedience, He will chasten your disobedience. When we look at God’s dealings with Israel, we’re not just studying history. We’re learning about God and how He works with people, and we’re applying those lessons to our own lives. The lesson today is about desperation. Have you experienced it? Are you experiencing it? Is it friend or foe? That depends on how we respond to it. Desperation is often the Precursor to Breakthrough! God often waits until we’re desperate enough to change, before He intervenes—the principle of desperation.
I. The Principle Observed in God’s Dealings with the Nation of Israel
A. Why did God wait 400 years before He delivered Israel out of Egyptian slavery?v Was it because of any weakness on His part? Was it because of any indifference on His part? No, it was because there were things that had to happen in the Hebrew hearts before they were ready for His deliverance. In the midst of all their afflictions He was increasing their numbers and preparing them for the deliverance.vi When God met with Moses at the burning bush, He said to him in Ex. 3:7-10 “…I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.vii I’m sent to tell you this morning, God sees the oppression or trouble you experience. The Hebrew word translated oppression comes from another Hebrew word that means depression.viii Whether it’s oppression or depression, God is aware of what you’re going through.