Hard times. Difficult times. Times that try patience. We’ve all gone through or are perhaps going through situations that tax our Christian witness. Maybe even to the point of asking, “Where is God in all of this?” Christians are not exempt from events that lead us to the edge of the Red Sea as the Hebrews were in Exodus 14. The enemy is to our backs and the sea in front of us blocks our progress. All along we’ve been trusting in the providence of God when we come to a difficult path to walk. What was God thinking? Why has God allowed me to find difficulty when I was expecting freedom? Should I have been following my leader who asked me to believe that God will direct my paths when now the path has made a turn for the worse? Such are the questions prompted by the Hebrews and maybe Christians today when reading Exodus, chapter 14.
If this subject hit home or is of interest to you let me recommend a small book with big insights into making spiritual sense of following God only to be led to the Red Sea with my enemy at my back. The book is The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. In this book Morgan asks, answers and provides “10 God given strategies for difficult times.” He walks very carefully via a verse by verse looks at the issues surrounding the Hebrew predicament having followed Moses, God’s man of the hour, right to the forbidding shore of the Red Sea with the Egyptians following close behind bent on their destruction. The book’s subtitle is, “The Same God Who Led You In Will Lead You Out.” Morgan does a great job of interweaving a treasury of quotes from noted authors who speak on this subject. The book can easily be used for individual study and reflection but also lends itself to being used in a small group setting or perhaps the outline of a topical series from the pulpit.
Rule number one leads off the 10 other rules with, “Realize that God means for you to be where you are.” Are you in a situation by your own design or while trying to follow God’s instruction and guidance are you now encountering a difficult situation that is too complex for the simple solutions sometimes offered by the well intentioned? You cannot help but ask, “Where is God in this?” If you have been following God and now question your state it is helpful to remember that God means for you to be where you are. He would not have led you into something that He is unaware of nor would he lead you somewhere He does not know the direction you are to go. Moses led the people out of bondage out to the edge of a sea and the Egyptians were now at their heals to trap and return them less their leaders into slavery once again. But God know where He had led them. Their solution was not of their own making lest they would one day turn and brag on their accomplishments. God had prepared their solution and only God could bring it about. He parted the waters and the people crossed to the other side. Then they looked back to see their enemy drowned by their own salvation. For decades and years to come the Hebrews would look back on this as God’s salvation event. How could they not learn a valuable lesson form this? Yet, time and again God would send a Prophet to remind them of this very occurrence.
Today, it’s good to be reminded of our God’s role in our sometimes difficulty contemporary situations. Are you following the Red Sea Rules? It’s an excellent book with much needed encouragement. JEM
Dr. Motes is Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University and has brought over 20 years experience in Church related ministry from service in Churches in Virginia, North and South Carolina. He has worked in Associational Missions, has taught and continues to teach a variety of subjects in church settings, and is published in Sunday School Leadership magazine. As an “Army brat” his upbringing has enriched his multi-cultural perspective for ministry.