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Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Provision of NOW

The Lord said to me, "When did I part the Red Sea?"

I knew what He meant. He wasn't asking me a history question. He continued to say, "Didn't I part the sea once my people got there?"

Again, I knew immediately what the Lord was getting at: The provision of the NOW. The need was not met 10 miles back. He did not part the water while they were still back in Egypt. No, God chose to wait and come through for them when they stood right in front of the point of impossibility.

I have to be honest.  If I were among the children of Israel and God took up a vote, I would have definitely voted for the waters to be parted BEFORE I got there, or at least been briefed on the plan. I would have wanted to see and understood the provision from far off. I'm much more comfortable with the idea of seeing in advance how it's all going to work out than the suspense of God coming through at the 11th hour. Give me my solid paycheck that I can count on. Give me the details of my life so I can plan accordingly. Give me all that I perceive as "security".

But I'm learning that God just doesn't always roll that way. Remember the widow that fed Elijah? She was literally at her very last meal when supernatural provision arrived. Talk about God waiting until her last morsel! Or how about Lazarus? It wasn't even the 11th hour in his case. Jesus waited until death appeared to win to finally arrive on the scene! But He proved to everyone that what we think is perfect timing, isn't always what God sees as perfect timing. He's never late. And even when death seems to win, He is still right on time because He's the Resurrection and the Life and has the power to raise the dead!

But I still can't help but question God's methods here. Is He just trying to be cruel when His Provision feels delayed? Absolutely not. God can't even be tempted to be cruel like that. He is Holy and Good. But He is also the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Consider this: If He had parted the Red Sea before His children got there, they never would have witnessed the miracle with their very own eyes. And Moses never would have personally been a part of that miracle by raising his hand over the sea. God was not just interested in getting His kids through the wilderness, He was actually more interested in taking the opportunity to build their faith and trust in Him, reveal Himself to them, and even let them partner with Him in the miracle!

See, God isn't trying to tease us or torture us when His Provision seems delayed. He doesn't play games with us like that.

What He is trying to do is show us that He CAN be counted on.
In a world filled with insecurities,
He is the One that won't let us down. EVER.

And I can't help but wonder.. could it be that if we see the Provision too far in advance, would we still cling to Him as closely and trust Him every step of the way?

***


When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.

As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”

Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.

Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!

Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!”

When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.

But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:5-31‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/exo.14.5-31.nlt

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