Don't Miss It.
Updated: Jul 13, 2018
I am still stuck on Israel today, and to be honest - God has repetitively reminded me of the Israelites the past 7 months . So much to reflect on, so much to take away and apply. So much to convict us of our own inclination to sit lost in our complaints.
Israel has just been rescued - brought out of Egypt, soon to be led into the wilderness.
Let that soak in.
Egypt - where they were enslaved, abused, and felt abandoned. Overpowered with no chance to change their circumstances.
The Wilderness - where they will be dependent, unsure, unable to provide for themselves. No way to change their circumstances. They probably felt abandoned here too.
God gave them a transitional moment between these two places (among many other reminders) to show that HE was present! He brought them to a place where nothing of their own ability could spare them, rescue them, or sustain them. He brought them to the shoreline. A sea of unknown ahead of them, and an army of destruction behind them. And there - He paused.
He revealed His intent to Moses (Exodus 14:1-4): to Pause where the Israelites were strategically positioned to not miss it. And what did they do? They missed it! He left them in that place just long enough for them to acknowledge that they could not save themselves. In that moment, their flesh was evident in their complaint:
"Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." (Duet 14:11-12)
The Egyptians did not face destruction. They had been rescued out of Egypt after 430 years! They had been led to this place by a cloud and pillar of fire. They had evidence of the Lord's provision already. Yet, in a moment where they face a wall - they plead to be back in bondage. They had grown comfortable with slavery. The familiarity of their chains was preferred over the unknown road God was calling them to.
Have you ever felt like you were brought out of one difficult situation and led right into another ?
Where has God brought you, to cause you to pause and see that you can't save yourself? That you needed HIM.
Was your response to look to Him for rescue? Or look at yourself in pity? Or did you look at your circumstances and wish to remain in bondage or pain rather than face the unknown?
Regardless of the irritation I feel as I read the Israelites complaining, God shows up - with Salvation. With Rescue. With Results. And in a way, beyond anything any one of those Israelites could have done for themselves, God shows up. He allowed them in a single moment to see 2 very important truths:
First, that He did not just deliver them from the bondage they known for 430 years, He destroyed it. And simultaneously showed them provision and freedom in parting the waters of the Red Sea.
God wants to rescue - but He won't just pull us out of our mess and set us down to resolve the future for ourselves. He rescues, destroys and provides.
In the place you are in or have been - how did God show up?
If the above question has left you clueless, adjust your perspective.
When we focus on ourselves in the mist of difficulty, we see things that keep us chained to a pain God wants to release us from: we see things like pity, sorrow, resentment, anger...
When we focus on the circumstance, we remain enclosed. We see no escape, no light, no hope. We rather see deeper and deeper into the problem. We see all the ways we are bound to the burden.
BUT - when we fix our eyes on GOD - you will find strength, wisdom, hope, salvation, peace...
Israel wanted saving, not a Savior. Israel sought comfort, not a Comforter. Israel was looking for provision, not a Provider. Wandering in any type of wilderness will prove trying, but you will never find lasting and dependable salvation, comfort or provision from your self or your circumstances. Only God is our Savior, our Comforter, our Provider.
So - LIFT YOUR EYES. Psalms 3:3 reminds us that God is "the lifter of our head."
Gently, God takes our face and lifts our gaze, looks in our eyes, exalts us and lets us know we are not alone. -Rom Rosh
He brings us all to our own version of the Red Sea throughout our lives. But it is up to us to not miss what He shows us in that moment. He can lift us, strategically place us and rescue and provide for us - but so many of us miss it. So many of us cross the Red Sea and continue to live in bondage to the pain He destroyed - because we missed it. So many continue walking in freedom, looking for rescue - because they missed it.
DONT MISS IT. Open your eyes. Fix your gaze.
In Lauren Chandler's study Steadfast Love. She brought to my attention that the people who stood at the wall of the Red Sea had a tainted view of God - one highly influenced by the exposure to the gods of Baal for 430 years! That influence had not only changed who God was to them, but what He was capable of doing for them.
What have you been exposed to that may have tainted your view of who God is and what He can do for you?
Lauren Chandler continues the study showing how God extended His patience to the Israelites when He led them to the waters of the Red Sea and to the safety of the Wilderness, because He did so for a purpose. For the purpose of cleansing them. The purpose of clarifying who HE is - without the influence of Egypt.
When God delivers you and walks you into what looks like another desolate place, where freedom does not quite resound true - look there too. Look for God's provision and patience.
When you fix your eyes on God - you can see His purpose in the bondage, His intention in the Pause, and His hope for the wilderness. Take your eyes off the circumstances and the struggle of the journey.
Instead, see how each step, each detail brings you into a more intimate place with God.
Don't miss any of it.