Last week, I wrote an article on how the Assyrians had surrounded Elisha at Dothan, when it looked like there was no way out. I have another Bible Study that is very similar in its theme, which I am sharing today. Keep in mind all of these recent studies are excerpts from my new book: Strength for Today. Take time to look up this Scripture passage:
“TURN and camp HERE, by the sea.” (Ex. 14:1-2)
When it seems like there is no way out of a situation, when the water is before you and the enemy is behind you—listen! God will make a way! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Cor. 10:13) When you think your circumstances have hemmed you in, and there is no hope, remember this:
God meant you to be RIGHT where you are!
Note, first, how God deliberately led Israel to this place. It was a place that (from a human perspective) looked like a trap with no way out—an impossible situation! Have you ever been there? Several characters in the Bible knew something about this painful experience.
1. Hagar, a single mom, found herself in a desert, with no water left in her bottle.
2. Joseph, wanting to fulfill Divine dreams, found himself in a pit, and later in a prison.
3. Hezekiah, a godly king, found himself surrounded by the Assyrian army.
4. The 12 disciples found themselves in the middle of a lake on a terror filled, stormy night.
5. Jesus found Himself surrounded by soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane.
Note, second, that long before you ever see the parting of the waves, and God’s footprints through the Sea, you need to accept the fact that God has allowed you to be right where you are, for His purpose!
Andrew Murray wrote in his diary, in the midst of a great trial: “First, God brought me here in His will. Second, God will keep me here in His love. Third, God will teach me here in His grace. And last, God will bring me through, how and when only He knows!”
Note, third, Jesus “constrained” his disciples to “get into the boat” and go to the other side. (Mark 6:45 and Matt. 14:22) The first step in surviving the storms of life is to realize this fact: He sent me here! The Bible says, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” (Psa. 37:23) There is no better place to be than the place where He has led you. God makes no mistakes! His ways are always perfect. Trust Him, He will “make a way” of escape for you!
You see, whenever we face stressful situations we have only two options: to pray or panic. So here is another lesson God, through Moses, was trying to teach His people—pray, calm down, and give God time to work! I love how Moses tries to calm down this unruly crowd. Stand still he says. Just see what God is going to do. The Bible says “the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.” (14:10) It’s OK to pray when you are in a crisis, as long as that is not the only time you pray! And as long as you don’t lose total control and panic. Sometimes the most powerful prayer is simply, Lord, help me!
Maybe we need to learn to look UP, not back, not ahead, not around. God heard the cry of the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt, (Ex. 3:7) and He heard their cry now at the Red Sea. (Ex. 14:10) Trust the Lord dear friend. Wait for the path through the Sea. Remember, He is the God of deliverance!