Summary: A sermon that uses the situation where Moses is between the Egyptian army and the red sea to extract biblical principles for us who find ourselves in difficult situations.
Painted into a corner.
Many of you will be familiar with the cartoon picture of a person who paints the floor of a room and paints himself into a corner where there is no window or door.
So the painter is surrounded by wet paint on all sides and no exit on the others.
A modern saying that fits this is being between a rock and a hard place.
In life we often find ourselves in situations like this.
Have you ever felt you didn’t know which way to turn – that you couldn’t do anything right – that you are damned if you do something and damned if you don’t?
Then it may be that we find some scriptures here this morning that are for you.
In the bible we find people in these kind of situations.
How they respond and what they do is often an indicator for us as to how we find answers in our own lives.
In the book of Daniel for example we find two outstanding examples.
The story of Daniel and the lions den is a story of incredible courage and faith and an account of the faithfulness of God.
In the account of Shadrach, Meshech and Abednigo and the fiery furnace we find the same principles applying.
Even where the circumstances do not result in personal survival – in the death of Jesus on the cross and the stoning of Stephen in Acts we again find incredible courage and faith and an account of the faithfulness of God.
Life is not always easy.
We face difficulties and challenges.
We face different outcomes.
What are some key principles that we can glean from the bible that will help us in difficult situations.
This morning I would like to use as a base scripture the account of Moses and the people of Israel when the faced the threat of slavery and violence by Pharoah on the one hand and the threat of drowning in the Red sea in the other.
Let us look now at this mornings scripture.
EX 14:5 - ex 14 - 31(read.)
There are many things in this passage that are helpful if you are in a difficult situation.
Today I just want to draw out three that will help us to find our way in difficult situations.
The first is that:-
Life is not always fair. – Don’t expect fairness in exchange for your own goodness. Daniel did not deserve to b e thrown into the lions den – Jesus never did anything wrong – in his whole life he spent his time helping and loving people and yet he was persecuted and killed – not because he was bad but precisely the opposite because he was good.
Stephen was stoned because he was sharing the word of God.
Sometimes when I hear someone say that = It’s not fair – I understand what they are saying but wonder if they fully understand the truth of what they are saying.
It is not that justice doesn’t happen in the long term or that what goes round comes round.
But it is tyrue that the victim may or may not see it in their own lifetime.
The Israelites in the time of Moses were complaining about their lot and they were compalining very loudly.
EX 14:10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, `Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"
They did what many people do when they see that they are in difficult circumstances – they found someone to blame.
Tall poppy syndrome applied here – they blamed Moses.
When we do that it often stops us engaging with two important truths.
1. Maybe God has allowed the injustice (Not caused it allowed it.)
2. maybe – just maybe God is about to be glorified in the answer.
But while we are complaining about the unfairnesss of the situation we can not see it.
Faith is a gift from God but complaining can be a lack of faith in God. This is demonstarated in the scriptures when the complaining of the Israelites arouses God’s anger.
NU 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused.
Life is not always fair and justice is not sometimes evident until after the judgement of God which may not be in our lifetime on earth – The bible tells us this.