“CAUGHT IN A PREDICAMENT”
By Pastor Donald Parker
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves caught in a predicament. A situation where there seems to be no escape from disappointment, hurt and suffering. We can find a story in the Bible of this very thing; people caught in a predicament. In Exodus chapters 13 & 14 we read where Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, let the Israelite slaves go. Then later, changed his mind, and he and his army went out after them.
When the Israelites left Egypt, God didn’t lead them on the shortest route to the land of Canaan, because He knew it would lead them straight into the land of the Philistines. God knew the Israelites would turn around and run back to Egypt to avoid any battle with the Philistines. So, God chose to lead them on a different path, while preparing them for what would soon come their way.
Chapter 13:21 says, “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” I’m sure for a few skeptic Israelites, and for many of us today, we don’t always understand why God wants us “to go one way” when in our minds it seems longer and harder; it just doesn’t make sense.
But Moses had walked with God long enough to know that even if God commands something that doesn’t make sense; he had learned to not question God. Instead just trust Him and obey Him. We would save ourselves a lot of grief, if we would just learn to do the same.
As you read the story, God led the Israelites to a place where they would become trapped between the Red Sea and the fast-approaching Egyptian army; but God had it all planned out. God basically said to Moses, “Look, I’ve got a plan, I’m in complete control, I know what I am doing. Pharaoh is going to think you guys are lost and confused as to which way to go and just wandering around in the desert. He’ll think he’s got you trapped. But Moses, the trap isn’t for you, it’s for Pharaoh.” Sometimes God’s plan doesn’t always make since to us, but our job isn’t to question God’s plan, but to simply obey and follow it.
Sometimes God will take us on a different route. We need to remember that God can see around corners. He can see the path were on in life. He can see the dangers and obstacles ahead, that will put us in a predicament we don’t want to find ourselves in. God knows the safest and best route for you. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (6) Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
We need to also remember that God will make our path clear. God gave the Israelites a pillar of cloud, and a pillar of fire, so they would know day and night that God was with them on their journey. God has given us the Bible (something the Israelites didn’t have) to guide us.
We can also learn from this story when we find ourselves in a predicament, we need to cry out the Lord. Pharaoh and his army were bearing down on the helpless Israelites who were trapped between the mountains and the Red Sea. When the Israelites looked back over their shoulder and saw the Egyptian army headed their way, they were terrified. They knew they were trapped with no place to go and thought they were doomed.
The Israelites were in a real predicament looking for a way out. It was very unlikely that they thought the way out would be through the Red Sea. Their only hope; we see in chapter 14:10, “They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.”
They were a terrible predicament, needing a miracle, and God provided it! He demonstrated to them that He was in complete control of the situation and able to save them. He parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites made it across. Then God covered the Egyptian army and every single one of them drowned.
You might be in a real predicament. Your marriage may be in a real predicament. Your adult children may be in a real predicament. Your finances may be in a real predicament. Whatever the predicament you might be in, the only thing you can do right; is cry out to the Lord. If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, my friend, you’re in a real predicament; and the only thing you can do right; is cry out to God for forgiveness of your sins. I encourage you to do that today!