Summary: Exodus 13:17 - 14:31. The Israelites were on a Journey with God. What was it like? Was it easy? Why did God take them the long way? These questions are often questions that we ask when considering the Journey that we are on with God.
Review: This past Sunday we look at the first part of Exodus 13, and in those verses we noticed the importance to be a people that takes the necessary steps to pursue sanctification.
Remember: Sanctification is the idea of being set-apart for God. To be pursue holiness as He is holy.
Context: Before we get too far, lets just remember what the scene is here at this point in Exodus:
The people have been in bondage in Egypt for over 400 years.
This bondage was preceded by a season in which Joseph held a high position in Egypt because of his ability to interpret the dreams that the Pharaoh was having. He instructed that there was going to be a big famine and that Egypt should prepare. As a result, the Pharaoh put him as 2nd in command. Israel benefitted from this because this preparation would preserve them during this famine.
Over time the Egyptian dynasty changed, and turned on Israel by putting them into bondage.
Finally, Moses was born. He was to be thrown into the Nile, but instead was adopted into the Egyptian household.
Long story short, Moses was called by God to the instrument to call Pharaoh to release the Israelites. Pharaoh repeatedly said no, and God poured out 10 plagues upon Egypt to change Pharaoh’s heart.
We are now at the point in the story where the people have been set free. They are stepping out on to a NEW JOURNEY with God, but this journey is not going to be a easy “walk in the park” (no pun intended). God will still use some pretty amazing events to grow them in their faith.??
What does your journey look like? If your anything like me, the journey that God has you on hasn’t included any “writing on the wall”, or “burning bush” experiences. Instead it has been a journey of faith where the clarity has been all but clear at times.?
Fair Weather Mountain Illustration: Fair-weather Mountain is one of the most spectacular mountains North America. Located off the southeast coast of Alaska, the mountain reaches 15,000 feet above sea level. Massive granite walls with deep ravines cut by cascading glaciers create an inspiring view. This view, however, can only be seen about twenty days a year when the weather is fair. The mountain is called Fair-weather because you can only see the full glory and beauty of the mountain when the fog clears.
Author, John Eldredge, uses Fair-weather Mountain as an illustration to describe how most people live their lives.
"Twenty days a year-that sounds like my life. I think I see what‘s really going on about that often. The rest of the time, it feels like fog ... I'd love to wake up each morning knowing exactly who I am and where God is taking me. Zeroed in on all my relationships, undaunted in my calling. It's awesome when I do see. But for most of us, life is more like driving with a dirty windshield. I can make out the shapes ahead, and I think the light is green…The description of the Christian life shouted in the New Testament compared with the actual experience is embarrassing ... we look a little foolish, like little children who've been held back a grade. (John Eldredge, Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003, p.5-6.)?
What’s the point? Sometimes we simply live out our relationship with God like we are in a fog. We doubt His leading, we question His authority, and sometimes we even complain to Him because of the direction of our lives. As this author has stated, “we look a little foolish, like little children who’ve been held back a grade.”?
Transition: This morning we are going to go on a ride-a-long with the Israelites. Again, this isn’t going to be a casual “sightseeing journey”, but will be filled with odd turns and detours. The detours, although, will prove to be helpful to God’s people. Let’s journey along with them…
II. 7 Characteristics of The Journey (Exodus 13:17 - 14:31)
1. God: Let’s take the long way. (13:17-22)
In God’s wisdom, He lead the people the long way. There was good reason for this because there were Egyptian outposts along the typical routes to Canaan. He was concerned that the people would loose hope, and become discouraged too soon.
All along the way God lead His people with the unmistakable cloud by day and fire by night! ?
Can you identify with these people? You thought that when you first came to Christ you would be on the fast-track to living the good life, right? WRONG!!! Instead God seems to have lead you on a journey that appears to be taking allot longer than you expected.