Wednesday, February 3, 2010
God's Timing. God's Direction
We need the latter. We chafe under the former.
We love God's promises. In the story today, the promise was given to Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob. The Hebrews were going to be a great nation. They were going to possess the land.
However, they did not realize that they would be in Egypt for 430 years. Most of that time as slaves.That even after Moses was born, he would live in the palace for 40 years - with them still as slaves. That even after his desire to engage in their deliverance kicked in, another 40 years would pass. With them still as slaves.
Today - another kicker.
17 "When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle."
So now they are free. Would it not seem appropriate to finally, Finally, FINALLY take them to the promised land?
Well - NO, as a matter of fact. They had been slaves, so they were tough. But they were not soldiers. God would take ANOTHER 40 years to get that thing going.
20 "The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people."
This is great! God Almighty was going to personally, and directly, guide them. All they had to do was follow, and everything would go just great! (Well, not exactly)
1 "Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you.[e] I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told."
Here is where God's direction comes in. God purposefully directed them into harm's way! Did you get that? GOD PURPOSEFULLY DIRECTED THEM INTO HARMS WAY!
So, if you have been reading along with us, God's timing is way different than ours. And God's direction is based on His grand plan for the world. It often does not make sense to us.
However, it certainly does make for a grand adventure!!!