Detours, Dead Ends & Dry Holes
The Discipline Of Detours
Text: Exodus 13:17-18
In the book of Exodus there are three chapters that tell us about wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel. From the experiences of the people of God in the Old Testament we are going to be learning lessons about the Lord's leading in our lives.
God makes it clear in the New Testament that their experiences can be used as examples for us today; "Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition..." (1 Cor. 10:11).
In Exodus 13:17-18 we read that God did not lead the children of Israel directly to the Promised Land (the place He had destined for them). Rather, He took them on a detour.
What are the lessons we can learn about God's guidance from this passage?
guidance is always possible.
guidance is sometimes perplexing.
guidance is personal.
guidance if progressive.
God led them through the "wilderness" based on His wisdom.
Why did God lead them
through this detour? What was God's goal? He tells us the reason in
#1 God was
One of the purposes of "detours" is to keep us from danger.
#2 God was
One of the purposes for "detours" is to develop us.
Remember, there will be difficulties where you are destined to be.
How did God direct them through this detour? You can depend on God when He directs you by way of detour.
#1 Notice God's provision.
The Dilemma Of Dead Ends
Exodus 14: 8-10
Now the children of Israel met with "The Dilemma of Dead Ends." They were surrounded by the mountains, Red Sea in front of them, and Pharaoh's army was coming up behind them. They were brought to a total dead end.
From their experience we learn what to do when God leads us to a "dead end," an impossible situation. (Remember, God was leading them.)
I. Refuse Fear
Four Ways Fear Effects Us:
A. Fear makes us skeptical (v. 11a).
II. Renew Your Faith
Three Steps to Renew Your Faith
A. Let go - "Do not be afraid..." (v. 13a).
God usually takes you through your problem, not around it.
When you face a "dead end" you have three options:
Where you turn in time of trouble indicates who and what you really trust!
God led the Children of Israel to a "dead end" - they were facing an impossible situation. Why? There are at least two purposes:
For God's glory.
Ten Boom said, "There is no panic in heaven, only plans!"
The Disappointment Of Dry Holes
Now we come to the "Disappointment of Dry Holes" - here God led them to Marah to prove or test the Children of Israel. You would think people would have been ecstatic over the Exodus from Egypt and the deliverance through the Red Sea, but they were not.
The Problem (v. 22-24)
Disappointment is unfulfilled expectation.
Remember, God had led them all the way. The problem was the
Disappointment always leads to doubt. When this happens you feel deprived.
The Purpose (v.25)
Here's the message: God could and would supernaturally provide, protect, and prosper them, no matter where they were or what they were facing.
Deliverance from disappointment comes by learning to depend on
God can change things from what they are to what He wants them to be and what they need to be.
Conclusion: Read verse 27. Elim was only 10 miles from Marah. Here is God's message:
Your disappointment might be God's "appointment" to