Thursday, May 27, 2010

For His Glory!

Have you ever been in a tough set of circumstances or a situation that you wish you didn't have to go through? You just wish you could close your eyes, blink, and when you open your eyes, all will be well again? You wonder "how did I ever get here?" What if it's even worse - what if you feel like the Lord actually led you there? Then what?

How do you react in these kinds of places? Are you angry? Complaining? Frustrated? Fearful? Do you try to find your own way out ... to "fix" it? Or are you faith”full” knowing that since God brought you there, He would also bring you through?

Have I got something for you! In reading Exodus 14 a couple of weeks ago with our kids for school, I saw something so amazing - you'll have to read it for yourself to see it, too. I believe very strongly that God's Word speaks for itself, so I'm going to put it in its entirety at the bottom of the post (in the NIV translation).  These verses have special significance to me because these are “repeat” verses – I have been here before with the Lord. This time, however, He revealed some additional points that I think are so cool and encouraging.

First of all, a little background information about this section of scripture - this is the point in the Israelite’s history where they have been enslaved to the Egyptians for a long time. Moses was selected to bring them out of Egypt and after a long while (10 plagues, etc), Pharaoh finally granted them permission to leave Egypt to worship the one true God. Using Moses, God led them out of Egypt and towards the promised land. God led them along the desert road, towards the Red Sea, even though it was a longer distance. He knew that if they faced adversity, they would want to return to Egypt. Interestingly enough, He knew they were going to face adversity and even more, He set it in motion to happen. For.His.glory.

From Exodus 14:1-14, here are some of my thoughts:
1. The LORD led them to that place and knew they would be faced with adversity. (v.1-4)

This was the new thing that jumped out at me. He actually very specifically led them to this very place knowing that He was going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and have him pursue them. They were going to be trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army following them. Remember, He led them the long way around – He also led them into a trap (or at least they may have felt that way).

2. He set the whole thing up for His glory! (v. 4)

Very important to remember – it is ALL about Him. It is His’ story – we get to be a part of it, but it is ultimately about Him. Even in the midst of tough circumstances, it is good to remember that He is working – He has not forgotten you – He is still there. Dare I say, sometimes the tough circumstances are even about Him? He wants a greater good to come about, He has a reason and a purpose even when we can’t or don’t see it. 

3. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh. (v. 4, v. 8)
Again, He set the adversity in motion for the Israelite’s. He is the One who caused the Egyptians to follow after the Israelites. For His Glory! So, in our lives, sometimes He allows the tough things to happen to us. And sometimes … He may even put them there … for His purposes.

4. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the LORD. (v. 10)

I do like that the Israelites first response was to seek the LORD. However, their second thought was not …

5. They complained and whined and bellyached. (v.11-12)

I honestly can’t be too hard on them, though. How often is this my very response to problems of any kind? Complaining, whining and bellyaching.

6. Do not be afraid. Stand firm. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (v. 13-14)

And Oh Yes! This was the verse for me. Even though they whined and complained, the LORD still came to their rescue. He is also the One who will fight for you! Stand firm and watch – you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. So even though it is about Him and for His glory, He certainly doesn’t leave us on our own to battle. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still”

Oh, how I hope that came across as I intended – to be encouraging and hopeful. Even though the circumstances may be the worst imaginable, that He is with us through them and He is the One who will carry you through.

Here is the excerpt from Exodus 14:1-14:

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "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. 3 Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.

5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, "What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!" 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.

11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."


  1. Such a hard truth for us to come to, that EVERYTHING that happens to us God at least allows.And yes, for HIS plans and purposes which are so bigger than we can think or imagine. BUT, what a freedom and peace when we finally KNOW that truth and walk and live in it.

  2. Very powerful word, Shirley! Thank you...great insight! :)


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