FAITH TO FOLLOW
Exodus 13:17- 14:28
O for a faith that will not shrink, ‘Tho pressed by every foe, That will not tremble on the brink Of any earthly woe! That will not murmur nor complain Beneath the chastening rod, But, in the hour of grief or pain, Will lean upon its God; A faith that shines more bright and clear When tempests rage without That when in danger knows no fear, In darkness feels no doubt.----- William H. Bathurst
UCLA alumni and fans made UCLA football coach Pepper Rodgers’s life miserable during a season when his Bruins got off to a horrible start. Nobody in Southern California would hang out with him. "My dog was my only true friend," Rodgers said of that year. "I told my wife that every man needs at least two good friends. She bought me another dog."
Rodgers can be rigid in the face of adversity. When his players at UCLA were having difficulty adapting to the wishbone offense he’d installed and the school’s alumni demanded that he adopt another system, Rodgers didn’t budge. The wishbone, he said, "is like Christianity. If you believe in it only until something goes wrong, you didn’t believe in it in the first place."
I. WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY.
A) God didn’t lead them through the land of the Philistines.
1) It was the shortest most direct route to where He wanted them to be.
2) But God knew they were not prepared for battle---They had a lot of people but no weapons.
3) God knew they would turn and run back if they faced the Philistines this close to the border.
B) God will lead the way.
1) Pillar of cloud by day
--not only gave them direction but also protected them from the sun’s harsh conditions in this desert.
2)) Pillar of fire by night—It was a visible sign of God’s presence. It was not God
The early church leader Augustine was once accosted by a heathen who showed him his idol and said, “Here is my god; where is thine?”
Augustine replied, “I cannot show you my God; not because there is no God to show, but because you have no eyes to see Him.”
C) Yeah, but Bro. Jeff. They had the pillar of cloud and fire. They didn’t need faith. Heb 11:24-29
II. WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS NO WAY.
A) Ex 14:1-4 I started to tell you today that Moses had one advantage we do not. God told him in advance what He was doing and it seems that He doesn’t always do that with us. BUT THEN I REALIZED THAT ISN’T TRUE. He does tell us in advance.
B) He tells us he loves us, will never leave us, we can take our burdens to him. He gives us hope.
Mark Barton bludgeoned his wife and two children to death with a hammer. He then went on a shooting rampage in Atlanta that made him that city’s worst-ever mass murderer. Nine people were dead and thirteen wounded before he killed himself as police officers surrounded his vehicle and closed in to arrest him. Barton is reported to have lost $105,000 in the stock market between June 9 and July 27, and the people he shot were at day-trading brokerage firms. Yet it seems fairly clear that the motive behind all the carnage was much deeper than financial. Mark Barton — to use his own words — had been “dying” for a long time. He had become “so afraid, so terrified” and had “come to hate this life.”
The most telling line in a letter found in his family’s living room is this: “I have come to have no hope.” With all hope gone, Barton was paranoid and thought the world was against him. The final line in his letter declared his intention “to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my destruction” as he could before dying himself.
III. IT IS THEN THAT GOD GETS THE GLORY.
A) Ex 14:21-28 By doing what only God can do.
B) He even uses the things that lead his people to be a confusion to those who are not.---The same cloud that gave the Israelites direction was used to darken the sight of the Philistines.
C) If we have the faith to follow we will see God do a good work in our life. It doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes it is very difficult and frightening. But even in difficulties and danger, God will do a work.