August 21, 2007

 

Exit, Please?

By Wendy Pope

 

“Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God."

Exodus 2: 23-24 (NLT)

         

Devotion:

Years passed. The Scriptures say close to forty years went by. The Israelites must have thought after all those years that their crying had fallen on deaf ears. Was the Lord listening? Were they crying in vain?

 

Do you ever feel that way? You have asked God to deliver you from something, and it seems as though God has not heard your cries of deliverance. Let me encourage you dear one, He does not ignore the cries of His people. He has not ignored your cries. Just as God had a sovereign plan designed to free His people from slavery, He has a sovereign plan to free you from that which holds you captive.

 

The cries of the Israelites were heard and answered in Exodus chapter 13. Finally, they were going to be free from the bondage of slavery to the Egyptians. Don't you know they were thrilled beyond words? Life in total freedom was just over the horizon! However, the plan for deliverance from Pharaoh led them straight from Egypt to the desert. Funny how God works, isn't it? The desert was God's idea of freedom.

 

Isaiah the prophet tells us in chapter 55 that God's ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts. I do not know about you, but that gives me great comfort. Exodus 13:17 demonstrates this concept, "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt’” (NIV). I really like short cuts, but God thought the short cut out of Egypt was not the best route. He was even gracious enough to explain His reasoning.

 

God wants to deliver us from our bondage, but many times we want the easy way out... a short cut: "Get me out of this mess Lord, but please don't let the way out cause me any pain or inconvenience." God knows our weaknesses. He knows how easily we would slip back into bondage if we faced adversity in the easy way out. In His great wisdom and sovereignty His plan for the exodus of our bondage is not the quick, easy way. He will lead us out through a path that will create a dependency on Him. This path will also strengthen our relationship with Him, give us a renewed assurance of our faith, and equip us for a possible slip back into the pit. Read in Exodus verses 18-19, "So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle." Did you catch that last part about being armed for battle?

 

The way out of bondage is sure but not always swift. In some situations God shows His great mercy and the exit is quick – we’re left in awe by His power. In other situations, God chooses to take us by the desert road to strengthen us. Two things are certain no matter the route: victory for us and glory for our God.

 

Dear Lord, thank You for not ignoring the cries of Your people. I realize through Your Spirit in me that I can wait on Your perfect deliverance from my current Egypt. I can't wait to celebrate the victory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

 

God’s Purpose for Every Woman: a P31 Women’s Devotional Editors Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope

 

Application Steps: 

Read aloud the power verses listed below. Record them on index cards and place them in various rooms of your house. Read aloud Miriam's victory song in Exodus 15

 

Reflections: 

Ask the Lord what He wants you learn from your current situation.

How have you seen yourself being "armed for battle?"

 

Power Verses:

Isaiah 42:6-7, "’I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.’” (NIV)

 

Isaiah 43:18-19, "’Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.’” (NIV)

 

Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." (NIV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org