Exodus 13:17 — 14:4
The truth that we draw from this passage is this: We can have true peace when we trust that God is in charge.
In Exodus 13-14, God decides to lead His people down a specific path and direction, even though it was the longer way to travel. God knew what was best in the long run and He knew what was up ahead on the road they were going to travel. He knows whats up ahead in your life, and mine. Sometimes God’s directions seems strange, sometimes it seems harder or more dangerous, but following His direction always take us to a place where He is more glorified and we get to watch Him work.
God’s path to escape the Egyptians was obviously longer and more treacherous than other ways to get to their destination. But God is not interested in making good time. He is concerned with our faith in him and His glory. In verse 4, God said, I will harden Pharoahs heart and I be honored by Pharoah. Why? Because all of this with the Israelites was about God’s glory before it was about their freedom! Everything that God has done, is doing, and will do in your life is about His Glory before it is ever about me or you. This should bring us peace, because God will never share His glory with another!
God led the Israelites with a visible pillar of fire and cloud (vv.21–22). How awesome is that. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that today? It sure would. But here is what we need to remember. The Israelites did not have the completed, infallible, perfect WORD of God. We do.
Here are a few application points for us all when we are making decisions and seeking direction in life.
- Confirmation from God’s Word
It is interesting how so many people want a “word” from God that is extra-Biblical. In other words, they want someone to tell them something in a way that kind of says what Gods word says but with a twist to make it more acceptable to their agenda. Reading and studying God’s Word has a way of changing our mindset and bringing us to a place of surrender where we are ready to accept Gods direction. He absolutely wants to lead us. I love what Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Be not comformed to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Why? So you can prove the good, acceptable, perfect will of God.
When you need to choose a direction in your life, go to God’s Word. Don’t fall into the trap that tempts you to say, “I am going to do whatever I want to do and God is obligated to bless it.”
- Godly convictions
What’s amazing about God’s Word is it will change you from the inside out, and it will develop convictions in you. We are talking conviction here, not feelings. Don’t follow your inner feelings, follow your conviction. A conviction is a firmly held belief. I have a conviction that God wants the world to know who He is. I have a conviction that God knows what is best. It is a conviction of mine that God wants what is best for me and he will always keep his word. God will develop your convictions as you live out your faith.
- God’s work in my circumstances
Sometimes, God lines things up in our circumstances where we can see the way He wants us to go. But the issue may be we just dont want to go that way He is leading. Sometimes we want the circumstances to be changed so we can excuse our selfishness. Don’t ignore the obvious things that God does in your life. Sometimes they are ordinary. The miraculous is the exception. Technically, anything God does is extra-ordinary.
- The counsel of mature believers
You cannot replace mature, godly, holy, friends. Friends that love Jesus so much they want you to love Jesus, and when you are around them you want to love Jesus more. If you have serious decisions to make, don‘t go to someone who you know doesn’t know the Word of God. I dont go to my kid when I need help with finances. He is a child. Don’t go to a spiritual child with deep decision that needs to be weighed in with a spiritual viewpoint. We all have to go through the process of growing into maturity, it just takes longer for some of us.
While we might not get a visible pillar of fire leading us down a road, but we can be confident that God will keep his promise to us in his Word. I love what James reminds us of, “If any of you lack wisdom, let Him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and it shall be given Him.”