Summary: Everyone has things in our lives that prevent us from moving on or going places or doing things. We call such things obstacles, which is something that impedes your progress or your achievements.
Everyone has things in our lives that prevent us from moving on or going places or doing things.
We call such things obstacles, which is something that impedes your progress or your achievements.
No one ever said that life would not have a few obstacles in it.
The thing about obstacles is what you do with them when you encounter them. You really just have two choices when you encounter them, you can either let those obstacles have their way with you or you can turn those obstacles into opportunities to move forward.
Today we are going to see how the Israelites turned their obstacles into opportunities.
Father, open my eyes to see Your Word.
Open my ears to hear.
Open my mind to understand.
And open my heart so I may receive Your Word today.
Let’s set this up.
The story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt and entrance into the Promise Land is an up and down story. God did some awesome things for them, but for forty years they lived in failure, wandering around in the wilderness, falling short of what God had planned for them.
While they were living in failure, the people of Jericho were living in fear.
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Joshua 2:8-11 NIV
Let’s back up about 40 years from this Scripture so I can paint a picture for you about what is happening.
The Jewish people had been prisoners in Egypt, forced into hard labor by the Pharaoh. A place that was once their salvation had become their prison.
They cried out to the Lord for help so God prepared Moses to be the person that would lead the people of Israel out of captivity into the Promised Land.
This was good land; it was the land that God had promised Abraham many years before.
We all know the story, we have all read the accounts, and we have even seen some of the movies about this.
God sent Moses to rescue the people; He sent plagues to Egypt, God turned the water into blood, he sent frogs, gnats, flies, boils, hail stones, locust, darkness, and the worst plague of all, was the death angel killing all the first born males in Egypt.
Finally, after all the plagues that God had sent, the Pharaoh let the Israelites go. Nearly 1 million people in all up and left town.
As they were leaving God did some incredible things for them.
The Egyptians handed over gold and silver to the Israelites, God provided for their escape by opening up the Red Sea, God closed the Red Sea on the Egyptians after they changed their mind and chased after the Israelites, God provided them with bread and meat to eat, and water to drink.
God lead them in the day time by a cloud and in the night time by a pillar of fire.
While they were beginning their journey God gave them His Law so they could draw closer to Him. He gave them the plans to build a tabernacle for Him as well as all the furnishings for the tabernacle.
God instructed them to build the Ark of the Covenant which would be the place that His presence would dwell.
The Ark of the Covenant was made from acacia wood; it was 4 feet long by 2 ½ feet wide and 2 ½ feet deep.
It was covered by the finest gold and a lid, which was called the Mercy Seat, was place on top.
On each of the two sides were gold rings which were used to carry the Ark from place to place, using two wooden poles that were also covered by gold.
On the Mercy Seat there were two golden cherubim formed that faced each other with their wings spread over the top of the Ark.
All of this together formed the throne of God, the place where His presence dwelt among man. The Ark represents God’s presence.
This Ark was them placed inside the tabernacle in a place called the Holy of Holies.