Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Sea of Impossibility

Temple Baptist Church - 5-25-2014
Exodus 13:17-14:29
A. Last week, we looked at the seas found in the bible.
1. By way of application, seas are a type of troublesome times in the lives of God’s children. Life is hard at best and we are continually going into, going through, or coming out of the valleys of life.
2. Seas are not all the same in depth, width, or turbulence. So it is with our problems. Most problems are short lived and, though they may be hard, we can easily handle them but, on occasion, problems are over our heads and beyond our ability to handle. I call these “seas of impossibility.”
3. I often say, “Do the best you can and trust God with what you cannot.” Easy to preach but hard to live! There are times when only the Lord can help.
B. In chapter 13 of the Book of Exodus, Moses has delivered the children of Israel after 430 years of bondage. In chapters 13 and 14 of Exodus, we find possibly the greatest miracle ever performed by the invisible Jehovah God!
1. The Lord is leading His people with the Pillar of Smoke and Fire and the bible says that they came out of Egypt with a “high hand.” They are excited but not expecting the challenge to come.
2. The easy route from Egypt is to the north and takes just a few days to travel but the Lord is leading them to the southeast towards the Red Sea. “But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”
3. Notice that God’s people were “harnessed.” Their leading was not a matter of choice but providence.
Psalms 77:19-20 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (20) Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
C. Israel is being led to a place between two mountains with the Red Sea before them.
1. Pharaoh has harden his heart once again and is not behind them with his army. The situation is desperate and impossible! Pharaoh said, “They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.”
2. The people were afraid and complained but God was in control! There are several things I want us to see this morning that will help us in our seas of impossibility!
1. The People of the Sea.
a. God’s Children. Psalms 77:20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (God loves His children and wants the best for then.)
b. God’s Enemies. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
2. The Person of the Sea. “The LORD shall fight for you!” (14:14) God created the seas before He ever formed man. God knew what was ahead of Israel when He led them “harnessed” before it. God knows and God provides.
Psalms 121:1-8 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
3. The Providence of the Sea.And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way.” (13:21) I do not know all I know about the omniscience and providence of God but I believe that He controls our lives and, therefore, our destinies! God knew before He ever created the world that Israel would one day stand at that precise place because it was the “hand of God” that led them there. It was a place of God’s choosing. God brought Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the land of promise. It is not always the way of comfort! It is often the harder way! It is often the long way! It is not the way of our choosing! It is often the only way! When you have no choice, you can make no wrong decision!
4. The Protection at the Sea.And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.” (14:19) God kept the army of Egypt at bay!
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
5. The Power of God over the Sea. Exodus 14:16, 21-22 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea … (21) And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (22) And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
6. The Purpose of God in the Sea. (14:22) God delivered His children and destroyed His enemies. I will not pretend to know everything about problems but I have learned a few things in my years.
a. Problems hurt!
b. Problems do not always come out the way we want them.
c. But, God’s presence is always with us.
d. God always loves us before, during, and after them.
e. And, it will be alright!

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