< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan

This book uses the story of the parting of the Red Sea to show us that when our past seems implausible and our future impossible God is working in ways we cannot see. That He will make a way of escape for His weary, but waiting children.

Isaiah 11:15 And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; and He will wave His hand over the river with His scorching wind; and He will strike it into seven streams; and make men walk over dry-shod.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The author writes, “No sea is deeper than the ocean of His love. There is no army stronger than His hosts, no force greater than grace, no enemy who can overcome His direct and indirect work in our lives.”

Rule #1 Realize that God means for you to be where you are.

Exodus 14:1-2 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.

God told them exactly where to go. And this put the sea in front of them with Pharoah’s army behind them and the mountains around them! And of course we know from other Bible stories that sometimes God allows us, or even puts us, in an “impossible situation” so that when He gets us through it there’s a bigger miracle; showing His great power.

Think about when Lazarus died and Jesus waited 4 days before going to him. If Jesus had come right away it would have been just another healing. But after 4 days it became a resurrection!

We sometimes go through long periods of pain and pressure. Trapped by circumstances; hurting and afraid. Facing impossible odds. Sometimes we can’t talk to anyone about our problems – making them even worse.

Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control. And we worry. Sometimes worry takes over our life. But –

A preacher, John R. Rice said, “Worry is putting question marks where God has put periods.” And Bishop Fulton J. Sheen called worry “a form of atheism, for it betrays a lack of faith and trust in God. “

We worry any.

But God wants us to be able to say “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil.”

God wants us to turn our worries into prayer and our fears in to faith.

The Israelites were following God. God who took them out of captivity and deliberately into a place where they were trapped. In trouble. They had thought their problems were over when they left Egypt and started following God.

These 2 verses, Exodus 14:1-2 tell us that the Lord took responsibility for leading them into peril.

God will occasionally do the same with us. Testing our faith, leading us into hardship, teaching us wisdom, showing us His ways. Even though we feel like panicking when this happens we need to learn to consult the Bible for guidance and realize that if we are in a difficult place, God has either placed us there or allowed us to be there – for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself. And that the same God who led us in will lead us out.

When we realize this, our whole perspective of the situation changes.

Many great people in the Bible found themselves in bad situations when they were following God. Joseph, Moses, David, the apostles…Jesus! Dying on the cross.

Christians shouldn’t be surprised when, in seeking to do God’s will, we find ourselves trapped in painful, frightening, difficult or impossible situations. Life is hard! Especially for Christians because we have a determined enemy out to get us.

Jesus warned us in John 16:33 that we will have tribulation. But he added, “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

AW Tozer said, “To the child of God, there is no such thing as an accident. He travels an appointed way…accidents may appear to befall him and misfortune stalk his way, but these evils will be so in appearance only and will seem evil only because we cannot read the secret script of God’s hidden providence.”

An African pastor, Andrew Murray was facing terrible crisis’s and after much prayer wrote this in his journal:

1. God brought me here. It is by His will that I am in this place and in that fact I will rest.
2. God will keep me here in His love and give me grace to behave as His child.
3. He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn and working in me the grace he means to bestow.
4. In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when – He knows.

So we can say, “I am here”
1. By God’s appointment
2. In His keeping
3. Under His training
4. For His time

God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. Never forget us, never abandon us and never stop loving us.

Realize that if we are where God has placed us, then there is no better place to be.

Now, you might ask, but what if the trial I’m having is clearly my fault? J.I.Packer wrote, “Our God is a God who not merely restores, but takes up our mistakes and follies into His plan for us and brings good out of them.”

So when we are in a trial because of our own selfishness or stupidity; serious and sincere repentance routes us back to God’s will. When we genuinely repent of our sins, our hearts are cleansed and our fellowship with God is restored. Certain consequences many linger, but the Lord will somehow use them for good.

Healing may still be needed, but the Great Physician will apply the salve so we can endure.

God’s forgiveness allows self-forgiveness. We can stop being angry with ourselves because He has forgiven us and will use it for good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God even causes the influences of our self-chosen circumstances to work for our spiritual benefits.

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