Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Curling “Rink’s” Dream Sweeper -- Exodus 14:21-25

--> Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided.  And the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea.  And it came about at the morning watch, that the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.  And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”
 
“The Lord swept back the sea.” For those of you who participate in the sport of curling, you might well be saying, “Wow, could we ever use a sweeper like that on our rink!”  This was indeed God working with the forces of nature (wind in this case) that He Himself created to move the water out of the way so His children could escape their enemy on dry ground.  Amazing.

However, before God interacted with nature, He waited on Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea.  God did not need help, but at this point, when it came to the Children of Israel, God wanted two things.  First, He wanted His people to be reminded of who their God-appointed leader was.  Second, He wanted that leader, Moses, to have ultimate trust in, and reliance upon, God.  So, He waited until Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.

The Bible says God swept back the sea using a strong east wind.  And that wind blew all night dividing the waters and separating them with dry land.  The Bible says the waters acted as walls on either side of the cleared passage.  Scientists have been trying to explain this for years.  Some rely on it being a “sea of reeds” and that it was incorrectly interpreted as the Red Sea.  And of course, to them reeds only grow in very shallow water that easily could allow the Israelites to pass.  Okay, but did that equally shallow water cause the drowning of the entire Egyptian army?  Sorry, that argument does not, pardon the pun, “hold water”.  I choose and believe in, as an explanation, the miraculous intervention of God with the nature He created.

I have learned, though not early enough, that taking up a pursuit that was against God’s will, as the Egyptians did, is bound to fail.  There was no way the Egyptians could succeed and there is no way any one of us could succeed when we intentionally go against what we know is the will of God.  Whether you are chasing something immoral, or something for your own pride or ego, even something that would be nice to have but not expedient for you as a Christian, stop for a moment and determine honestly if you have the assurance it is indeed God’s will for your life.  If so, keep at it.  If not, drop it.  Success will only come if God is in it.  Failure and often disaster is bound to result if He is not.  Even if you have all the resources possible to bring it about as Pharaoh had all his horses, all his chariots, and all his horsemen, the pursuit is doomed.  Just ask the Egyptian army pursuing the Israelites.

So how did it come about?  In the morning after the night during which the angel of God and the pillar of cloud prevented the Egyptians from attacking the Israelites, God looked down on the Egyptian army and caused great confusion among them.  He caused their wheels to swerve as they pursued the Israelites making the chariots very difficult to drive and direct.  Realizing the predicament they were in (like wagon trains getting stuck in the muddy ruts of dirt roads), the Egyptians came to two realizations.  First, they had to turn back and flee for their lives.  And second, God was fighting against them on behalf of His children.

That is the goal of the Christian when he or she is in trouble.  Follow the instructions given by God, have full reliance on Him, and live in such a way that the Enemy will flee from you as he realizes that God is fighting on your behalf.  Whether it is your circumstance or that of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, God does look down and He will not be mocked.  In fact, when we look at what is going on in the world today especially in countries like America that should know and do better when it comes to what God expects, we can be sure that God is looking down and ultimately He will not be mocked.  When the time comes in accordance with His schedule He will act.  But right now, He is simply causing or allowing great confusion to envelope society.  It is during these times, that He provides His clear and direct guidance only to those that seek Him through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

And when God causes confusion, our world society keeps going further and further into the mire of hopelessness, losing its bearings, and doomed for an eternity without God because it chose to pursue what God did not want for them.  We are seeing great evidence of that everywhere we look.  Morality, ethics, standards, holiness, integrity, and accountability “have left the building!”

It is my prayer and hope that some (perhaps that includes you) will get the message to stop their “pursuit” before the wheels of their lives swerve into an eternity without God.  They can get out of their circumstances. God is there for them just as He is for those that already love Him and have made His Son their Lord and Master.  It is never too late.  May I suggest that you reach out to Him right now in prayer and then seek out a friend, or a relative, or a pastor/minister that already has that relationship with Him, and say, “I’m ready to yield my life, my will, to Him; will you help me?”  Let God sweep your life clean for eternity.
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