Walkin' Not Swimmin'
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
Before we get into our quick recap, I think we need to go ahead and give ourselves a pat on the back. We've made it through 7 weeks of studying the GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD.
And to hold this title, there must be depth.
And if there's depth, we know not all of it is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to understand. It's challenging and seeing you here with me on week 8 means there's a hunger in us to know more.
This is God working in us. So let's thank Him for this as we continue.
Here's a quick recap from last week -
Joseph, the great grandson of Abraham, was sold into slavery, yet God appointed him as second-in-command in Egypt to save His people from the famine.
God saves Moses' life by providing Pharaoh's daughter as his caretaker so he can lead His people out of the oppression in Egypt to the land He has set aside for them.
God sends awful plagues because Pharaoh refuses to let God's people go. The worst plague was the last one, the tenth one, and the Israelites are to put the blood of the spotless lamb on their doorposts so the Angel of Death will pass over them so they can survive.
I hope you brought your walkin' shoes - the kind with laces and rubber soles - because like the Israelites, we're going on a journey.
Why? Well, Pharaoh's army is gaining on them.
These Feet Were Made for Walkin' Not Swimmin'
Here's what happened between last week and now - in that last plague, the firstborn baby boys were murdered. (Remember this. There's a major parallel here we'll get to later.) The only ones who were saved were those who had the blood of the unblemished lamb on their doorposts... And well, Pharaoh's own child was included.
This hit close to home for him and he tells Moses and Aaron to take their people and their animals and goooooo - leave!
God leads His people with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Protection. Guidance. Faithfulness.
But wait, didn't we just say Pharaoh's army was gaining on them?
Yep. It didn't take long before Pharaoh's heart was hardened (by God, we'll understand why here in a moment) and Pharaoh summoned his swift army and chariots to chase after the Israelites.
So picture this - Israelites on foot, Egyptian army on horses.
I can't help but think about how God intricately orchestrates the details in our lives for His glory. Throughout our time together today, I want us to be very cognizant (that word sounds like a sneeze happens right in the middle of the word, but it just means let's be aware) of God's perfect timing in all His ways always.
We see God allowed the Israelites to leave a good amount of time before He hardens Pharaoh's heart. Coincidence? I think not...
Let's keep going.
Here they are walking and see Pharaoh's army gaining on them in the not-too-far distance and guess what? They do what we so often do. They doubt God. They see the Red Sea before them and the army behind them. Knowing enslavement and oppression is all that Egypt has to offer them, yet they still consider turning back.
When our eyes focus on our circumstances, our faith is shadowed with doubt and our minds lead our feet to backtrack to the painful woes and false comfort of familiarity that we knew yesterday.
But, when our eyes focus on our God, our faith is illumined in the light of His glory and our feet step forward through the seas on dry ground.
ON DRY GROUND.
Moses reminds God's weary people,
Oh, it's so good. Hear these words and speak them over the weary places in your heart today, friend. May God renew your faith today.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” - Exodus 14:13-14
He raises his staff in faith over the Red Sea and God sends a mighty wind that blows through the night. Think about the faith they had to have. It wasn't an immediate, twitch your nose and wha-lah! It was a night of trusting God through harsh winds and brutal conditions with them being in the same place while the army was headed not just to capture them but to kill them!
And here's the thing, God could have directed them to go another way, but He didn't. He saw what they could not see.
It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt... - Exodus 12:42
Who was watching?
And friend, He's watching over you, too.
God did not choose the path of least resistance for the Israelites. The efficient planner in me is screaming inside, “...But don’t you know they’re running from Pharaoh and his armies? Shouldn’t we be taking the quickest path to safety - the shortest distance from point A to point B?”
But God, in His supreme knowledge, knew He needed to protect the Israelites. If they went towards the land of the Philistines, although near, they would see war and change their minds and return to the bondage in Egypt. In protecting them from the Egyptians, God was also protecting the Israelites from themselves!
God uses the strong mighty wind to hold up the waters and allow the Israelites to pass through ON DRY GROUND. Once on the other side, Pharaoh's army is charging toward them, and Moses raises his staff over the waters again and the waters overwhelm and drown them.
Deliverance. "The Egyptians you see today you will never see again." We can take God at His word. He has never failed His people and He's not going to start now.
I'm a fan of sticky notes. You know that if you read last week's Winter Rewind. If you come to my house, you'll notice sticky notes seemingly placed in random places, but it's not random at all. It is very intentional.
I'll write a verse on a sticky note and place it in places where I'm apt to linger a moment. So while I'm grabbing something to drink from the fridge or washing a dish or walking out the door to the garage, I can be reminded of truth. It's a simple way to help me memorize scripture.
Also, I'm a fan of this story we discussed today. This one in particular reaches to the depths within me. Over a year ago, I wrote this Psalm on a sticky note and placed it on the door to the garage. It gives me strength as I head out for the day and reminds me where my trust is anchored.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. - Psalm 20:7
What sticky note do you need to write today?
Our shoes, thankfully did not get wet through the Red Sea, and that's a blessing because we've got more walking to do next week.
May we find strength in the Word of God. May our joy for reading scripture grow as we intentionally choose to set aside time to spend reading it each day. May our peace overflow as the Word of God reads us and changes us from the inside out. Then, we will know rest this world can't give.
Remember how we said 5 minutes a day can change your day, your life and even your eternity? Well, here's what I'll be reading this week. I really hope you'll join me!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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