When I was in the 6th grade, I remember very plainly that there was a certain boy who had one goal in life. That was to chase me down and try to beat me up—he lived for this. One day my sister came to meet me at lunch and told me that she heard there was a plan for this boy to ambush me on the way home from school (Intel is a good thing) my stomach churned all afternoon... It was about an 8 block walk from the school to our house.
When the bell rang at 3:00 o’clock I found my self briskly walking in the opposite direction from my house. I walked and walked and walked. I saw streets and houses that I never knew existed. It took me over an hour to get home. I zigzagged and backtracked and was always looking over my shoulder. I made it home safe that day for a very simple reason. I took the long way home.
Have you ever found yourself taking the long way home? You get to a certain point in your life and you look back and wonder " why did it take me so long to get here????"
The trails that are before us
The struggles before us
(these are all roads that we must travel.
Roads that make us tired
Roads that cause us to wonder WHY?
We ask ourselves the questions?
Why is God letting this happen to me?
Why is God doing this to me?
When:: "that road over there looks so much shorter and so much easier"
This morning were going to ponder for a moment----what I call:
"The Long Way Home"
We will see that when God is the building the road
When God is drawing out the map
When God is out front leading the way
"The long way is ALWAYS the best way":
Open your Bibles to EXODUS 13
as you recall
1. God through Joseph had made a way to save Israel during seven year famine (Jacob’s family joined Joseph and 70 moved from Canaan to Egypt)
2. The Egyptians put the Israelites in bondage for hundreds of years
3. The Israelites increased in numbers over a 430 year period from 70 to 600,000 men (not counting women and children)
4. God had heard their cry and sent them Moses who would lead them
5. The ten plagues came upon Egypt by the hand of Moses and the pharaohs heart was hardened—he would not let the people go
6. God gave instructions for the Passover and readied the people to flee from Egypt
7. God sent the tenth plague (death of firstborn) after the tenth Pharaoh sent them out.
READ Exodus 13: 17 - 22
· Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the philistines, although that was near, for God said: "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt"
· So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.
· And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying "God will surely visit you and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.
· So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.
· And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.
· He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day of the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
As we look at this remarkable account of God’s dealing with Israel we see::
I. God knows: the best way is sometimes the long way:
A. One Characteristic of God that we must never forget is his OMNISCIENCE
-The attribute by which God perfectly and eternally knows all things which can be known,---- past, -----present, ----and future.
God knows all the answers in every situation all of the time!!!!!!!
1. Psalms 147:5:
Great is our Lord and mighty in power. His understanding is infinite.
Image the power of God’s knowledge—YOU CAN"T!!!!
You Don’t possess the mental faculty to contemplate it!!!
Isn’t it ironic that with our limited understanding, we "decide" sometimes to take the roads and pathways in life that God purposefully steers us away from?????? It happens everyday!!! In Every conceivable way>
Why would we ever do that???????
2. Isaiah 46: 9-10