1. He is Setting the Path (Ex 13:17-18; 1 Corin 10:13 )
God knows what we are going through, where we at and what we can handle. When the Israelites left Egypt God knew that they were too close to Egypt and too weak to pass through Philistine. He knew that they still had that “slave” mentality that rendered them unable to face an enemy in battle so he took them the long way around, in order to avoid the Philistines because he knew that that confrontation would make them turn back and return to Egypt. Am sure if the Israelites had had their way they too would have wanted to take the shortcut, thankfully they didn’t know where they were going. Why am I glad that they didn’t know? Because they had no opportunity to make the mistake we so often make- hurry through the shortcut we not strong enough or ready to tackle, forgetting that we he is charting our course on a journey he initiated. So often we want to take over and behave as if the journey was our idea and not his.
2. He is protecting you, destroying your enemies completely so they can’t pursue you. (Exodus 14:5-28)
When Pharaoh realized that he had, in his grief, allowed the Israelites to pack and go he decided to go after them and bring them back. Just as it is with the enemy, when he sees that you are set free and in your way he comes after you. Like Pharoah, in an effort to bring you back into slavery he is coming after you WITH ALL HE HAS. Ever wondered why Pharoah would send the best after a bunch of slaves he had had subdued for so long. Why not just send some foot soldiers and a couple of slave drivers to bring them back? After all of all the listed items the Israelites were said to have carried I didn’t see mention of a weapons which, to me at least, means they were virtually unarmed because I know for a fact that they didn’t have any weapons while living in Egypt (what right slave owner would arm the very slave they have oppressed?). So why take the best of the best, IN LARGE NUMBERS, to pursue a bunch of untrained, weak group of slaves? The answer is simple- the Israelites had tasted freedom, even if it had just been for a little while they had tasted it and Pharoah knew, the enemy knows, that once someone has tasted the sweet nectar called freedom they will not return to oppression without a fight. Someone who was born, and grew up a slave, knows nothing else besides slavery so they just take it to be their life but someone who knows what freedom is will not walk into slavery without a fight. That fight within them has to be coaxed out of them, always win brute force- the hope of freedom and your desire for it must be forced under the fear of your “master”.
That is why God has to destroy those that will pursue you just after you have left the camp of the enemy because he knows that the enemy will come after you before you are strong enough to defend yourself and before you are armed, so you put up minimum resistance and your fear of the power of Egypt will supersede your desire for freedom. That probably explains why often when we decide to leave the pleasures of the world and walk in the Light it seems as if things get worse before they get better. You decide that you do not want to go to the club anymore, suddenly you go broke and around that time the club owner comes to offer you a job that pays you more than your allowance (this actually happened to me in the 1st year of Uni ). I mean like what. kind of coincidence is that, right???lol The temptation to return is great and if God didn’t fight for us and destroy the enemy he would surely overrun us. Just as he destroyed the entire Egyptian army so does he do to our enemies- ensuring that they are unable to come after us as we continue on our journey and assuring us that there is nothing left to fear for the oppressor has been destroyed before our very eyes.
3. He is providing for us (Ex 15:22-27, 16:1-28, 17:1-7)
While this may not seem as “obvious” to some of us as it was for the Israelites in the desert it’s still pretty obvious to me. Yes, I get it comparing waking up to daily braid and meat outside your house every day sounds pretty awesome compared to have got to get up and work to make ends meet.
Actually, let’s be honest sometimes it feels like we providing for ourselves. After all, I have to get up. I have to go to work, or school, or both. I gotta make a plan to make sure it all adds up. Really if I count all the self-help/motivational books I read and research I gotta do to make it’s crazy. Like seriously God: Don’t you see my efforts? I mean what makes everyone else around me so much more special than me? Like everyone around me out there making it- and some of them don’t even pray like I do. THIS IS HOW MOST OF US THINK, Myself included sometimes. Like where is my manna from heaven?
But when we stop to change our perception the focus shifts from is to Him. The narrative becomes. He wakes me up every morning. He gave me this job/is giving me this education I got/am getting. He blessed me enough to be able to read these books so I can perfect my hustle and get my grind on. I mean it’s crazy to think He created all these great minds that are kind enough to share the “secrets” of success- if He can use someone who is unsaved and bless them like that imagine what he can do with me? All these great things happening without their permission, it’s mind-blowing to think what He can do if we just give him total control.😆
You see the problem with manna is that as people we get bored easily and quickly. God is never changing and can never take back his word, or change his mind. So if he says he giving you manna and quail- that’s all he gonna give you and you either take it or not. I mean why settle for water when you can grow grapes and apples to make different kinds of juice? If you human like the Israelites and get fed up of the same thing that’s still what you getting. In comes the benefits and beauty of being blessed enough to do it yourself- variety is the spice of life my guy. If he blesses you with a job that earns you money then good for you, you can buy and eat whatever you want😎. All he requires is 10% as a thank you for the job or whatever your source of income (because we all know He provides whatever we got) then the other 90% you can do whatever you want with it (as an added bonus He will give us the wisdom to spend, spin and multiply).
Not to mention the provision of God goes beyond daily bread and material things. Name it He got it- better yet He Is it😍. Yep, that’s who we got with us on this journey someone between. He who is, was, will be, can be, already has been and will be- now that’s provision. Everything we need and want (whether we know it or not) right there with us. Did I mention the part where he is everlasting and inexhaustible? Yeah so we never have to worry about even after this place somewhere in between cause He got us even then
4. He is sending you wise help and council (Ex 18:1-27)
So often because the space we find ourselves in new, unchartered territory where we have never been before we find ourselves doing the best we can- and that’s great. But praise be to God who has us surrounded by older, wiser people that can teach us better ways to do things. As we move through this somewhere in between managing the best we can, just as Moses was doing God sends us Jethro to tell us a better way we can do what needs to be done. God sends us helpers who are there to show us how to lessen the burden upon ourselves and feel less pressured, less overworked. Jethro told Moses how he, Moses, could still lead the people without judging each and every issue that came up amounts to the people by teaching them what the Lord’s expectations of them were and also by setting up a less centralized judgement system. This would give Moses more time to rest and listen to what the Lord was saying (notice how after listening to his father-in-law’s advice He was able to go get time to go up Mount Sinai to fellowship with God and come back down with instructions for the people- Ex 19-31, 34-40, that resulted in the Israelites receiving the Law and instructions on how to build the Ark of the Covenant where the glory of God eventually came to settle upon).
“She doesn’t know what I have been through. How dare she feels the need to tell me how I should do things. She doesn’t understand the burden of my gift because she doesn’t have the same gift.” or “You don’t know my story so you have no right to have an opinion, walk in my shoes before you want to give me your input (which I didn’t ask for btw)” is the same as Moses having responded “Jethro, a Gentile, a priest of another faith who didn’t know about the trouble Moses had faced with these stubborn Israelires wants to just walk in and tell Mosese how to lead the people…the nerve!” Yet that’s what we do all the time we are too proud and pompous, suspicious even, to accept help for what it is because we think everyone is out to show us how “not good enough” we are. Notice that, for Moses, all it took was one piece of advice from a transient helper and the impact was magnificent. So often we are so proud, stubborn and set in our ways that we miss the power of fine-tuning the seemingly finer details in how we operate. When someone suggests something we are so quick to defend our modus operandi especially when the advice comes from someone we think couldn’t possibly like understand. Funny thing is, like Jethro, these people gain nothing from helping us. They observe, speak, pack their thing and go but we forget all this because we do not want to grow. Imagine this, Jethro’s advice moved Moses from sitting and judging petty civil issues to getting more face to face time with God and yet Jethro left having gained nothing. So often we do not grow and end up worn out because we ignore the help, the Jethro’s God would have sent our way.