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". Exodus 13:17-18
Monday, February 4, 2013
Trust In The Lord With All Thine Heart
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
God has shown me a truth about Himself today as I was reading in Exodus. As the Israelites are finally being freed from the bondage they had known for more than four hundred years as the slaves of Pharaoh, God reveals that He is the same...yesterday, today, forever.
"And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
I see here an example of Gods loving providence. He knew these Israelites were too weak to face the trial of war. You and I know that had they went to war against the Philistines, God would have won the battle for them, but God knew that they would have fainted at the first sign of trouble! He knew their hearts. Even after he had shown them how mighty He truly is, through all the plagues he visited on the people of Egypt, BUT NOT on the Israelites! He knew their hearts, so he led them away from the way that made sense…the closer route. He took them the “long way”, the way that seemed a “dead end”. Well that didn't make a whole lot of sense to anyone, I am sure…the multitude may not have really known the geography…but surely Moses did, as he had traveled outside of Egypt to the land of Midian. This would be the route God would allow them have their back against the wall, or sea as it turned out…..and God would have to show himself to them in a way that only He could be the answer for their deliverance from the hands of the Egyptians. He knew their hearts, and he did what was best for them, even if they didn't know what was best for themselves.
So, have you ever seen God take you the long way? You can see a path or a direction that makes much more sense…but God clearly says “no, follow me this way”… I can say I have time and time again. In my life and in the lives of others…
I think of the college student, who has worked very hard to get through college debt-free. She came to her final semester, and thought she would need to take a loan as she did not see how she would be able to finish without. But God shut ever door on her as she sought acquiring a loan to pay for the last semester. And now we see that God had a plan of provision that would pay for her tuition without debt. So she was able to see God provide through her own hard work, and her parents help.
What about the young woman, who only four months after trusting Christ found herself pregnant, after a date rape? What route should she travel? The thing that would make sense to most, would be to get an abortion, but this young woman felt God leading her to consider adoption instead. The long way was the hard way, facing her family and friends, co-workers with a pregnancy and no father…and then the painful moment when she would say good-bye to the baby she had carried, and held…and loved. But God gave her a peace, it was the way he could show her He was there to comfort and lead her in her new life in Him.
What about the husband and father who had a job that he loved, a happy family that enjoyed their life and their situation immensely? Who, when he heard God tell him the route he had for him was to quit his job and move his family to a faraway place to share the gospel with a people that would not want to hear it, in a region his family would not want to go…the long way, the difficult route would begin the day he told his family of God’s plan: the day he said "yes" to God that he would trust him. God showed Himself to be a mighty God every step of the way to the family, and to the man. In ways that could only be seen as God’s hand, God displayed His loving provision for this family! And looking back they are all happy to have followed God the long way. He has blessed them and grown them through the journey that they would not have chosen, but God chose for them. Because Gods way was better…far far better than that they would have chosen for themselves.
So many times I have heard people say, I don’t think the God of today is the God of the Old Testament, or often I hear Christians say they don’t even read the Old Testament, that God seems so mean, angry, and hard, judgmental…they want to read about Jesus, and the God that is loving and healing and forgiving… I am so glad that I follow the same God that I see here in the book of Exodus. (Which btw…is the God of the New Testament) This God is loving and longsuffering, and he is such a gracious father that will be patient with His people even knowing their weaknesses and their tendency to turn back to their slave-masters to avoid trials in their new life with God leading them to victory! I am grateful for every hurdle that God has placed before me, because in my willingness to trust him and overcome the hurdle in Him, He is the one who lifts me over the hurdle! And because of that I love and trust him all the more!
He is the one that I want to direct my path, He is the one that I can trust with all my heart!
I am so thankful that I serve the great I Am!