I really want to wrap my mind around this thing about how important it is for us to have the right mindset. When I hear about the Israelites being lead out of Egypt by Moses, it frustrates me! The journey from Egypt to Canaan, was an 11-DAY JOURNEY! These people took 40 YEARS TO GET THERE! Most of the DID NOT GET THERE! Why you ask? Because of their mindset. They had a negative mindset. They were ungrateful, fearful, whiny, and idolatrous. Have you ever seen a more ungrateful bunch of people?!
These people were suffering in Egypt for about 210 to 400 years. It was believed to be 400, but research says,
“Our sages explain that the countdown of 400 years began with Isaac’s birth. G‑d’s promise does not refer to Egypt by name, rather to a “land that is not theirs.” As soon as Abraham had a child, his seed were subjected to living in lands that were not theirs—including Canaan which wasn’t “theirs” at the time.
Isaac was sixty years old when Jacob was born, and Jacob was 130 years old when he went down to Egypt. This means that 190 of the 400 years elapsed before the Israelites arrived in Egypt. So the Israelites were in Egypt for a total of 210 years.”
God was nice enough to hear their prayers for at least two centuries and a decade for a rescuer and deliverance from their oppressors. He chose to use Moses. Moses should have been slaughtered like all the other baby boys his age, but God spared him so that he could deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. God was even so kind as to allow Moses to be raised by the very Egyptian royalty that he was going to be going up against!
As Moses performed plague after plague after plague to convince the Egyptians that he was not playing about the power that God possessed that could destroy them, the silly Egyptians had hardened hearts towards believing God. They suffered so many avoidable hurts! Had they just listened when Moses first said, “Let my people, go”! There didn’t have to be any frog plague, locust plague, and death of the first born plague. Had they done what was right the first time, things could have been resolved without all the damage. When God tells you to do something, it’s best you listen the first time around. Don’t wait until He sends ten plagues your way before you get your heart broken and submit to Him. If God tells you to let that no-good man go, don’t wait until you hear of rumors of him cheating on you, hear about him cheating with your best friend, have him clear out your bank account, have him ruin your credit, have him give you a STD, have him leave you for another man, and have him break your heart. Listen up front! It’s for the best!
So anyways, as the Israelites left Egypt, the Egyptians changed their mind (foolishly) about letting the Israelites go, and they decided to pursue them and bring them back. God wasn’t going to let that happen. Even though God knew that many of the Israelites would want to go back during the journey, He cared so much about them that He protected them. God parted a whole sea for these people! Imagine how trapped they must have felt at first. Behind you, you see your torturous past; and in front of you, you see an uncertain, unknown, and possibly dangerous future. But you must look up! God is with you! You thought you should give up and turn back to the past you know rather than the future you don’t know, but God knows the plans He has for you! Believe me that if you are on His side, they are good plans. There are women who are being emotionally and physically abused by their live-in boyfriends and husbands. They know the past sucks, but they are accustomed to the torture. Some would rather stay there than to begin dating again and to risk finding true love, but they don’t have to decide the entire future for themselves. They can look to God, and He will make the future less daunting and lead them to a healthy, loving relationship.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
So my God (the same God I serve today) parted a SEA for His people. For those of you who have been to a beach before and that have seen a large stretch of water, imagine seeing a clearing in the ocean going as far as the eye can see. Now I don’t know how far across the Reed Sea is, but it’s still a pretty big deal! This is not just a children’s bible story about a fairy tale God. This is the self-same God that we serve this day. He’ll do the same for you and me!
Malachi 3:6 – For I am the LORD, I change not
FROM WIKIPEDIA –
“The Reed Sea (or Sea of Seaweed, Sea of Reeds), was the name for a large lake close to the Red Sea, which has since dried up due to the Suez Canal. It was in Egypt, specifically in the Suez valley next to the Sinai Peninsula, and north of the Gulf of Aqaba.”
(There is a common misinterpretation that the Reed Sea is the Red Sea.)
“In the Biblical tale of The Exodus the phrase Yam Suph refers to the body of water that the children of Israel crossed following their exodus from Egypt. The Hebrew name literally means “Sea of Reeds.” Some scholars thus understand the term to refer to some marshy body of water rather than the “Red Sea.” Nonetheless, the fact remains that this same phrase is also used to denote the body of water referred to in 1 Kings 9:26, which is clearly part of the Red Sea: “And King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-Geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Reed Sea, in the land of Edom.” Eloth, or Elath, was the name of a seaport on the northern shore of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba.”
So back to the Israelites’ ungratefulness! Their prayers were answered, but they complained so much that they made a 250 mile journey take 40 years! I hear that the trip can range from an eleven-day journey to about a month’s journey depending on how much you take a break to eat and sleep. Two million people are supposed to have went on the exodus. The bible says there were 600,000 men. They were probably all married so that is 1,200,000, and they more than likely had at least 1 child per couple. So about 2,400,000 embarked on this journey. Of those people, ONLY 2 made it to the promised land. Joshua and Caleb made it because of their faith, belief, and grateful attitude towards God. No one over the age of 19 made it except for those two. People gave birth to more children on the 40 year journey who made it to Canaan, but only two of the original crowd made it.
WHAT JOURNEY IN YOUR LIFE IS TAKING YOU SO LONG BECAUSE OF YOUR WRONG ATTITUDE?
Some people believe that God is the one who wanted them to take that long, but I believe that it was their negative mindset. There are people in the world who respond very differently than others do when they go through a crisis. When some women unfortunately lose a spouse, they will never recover for the rest of their life. Some women can get married a year later. Some people can lose a job and never apply again. Some people will be fired from a job they worked at for 40 years and will get right back in the market looking for work. Some people are thwarted by the loss of a limb, and some people will get a prosthetic device and do the most extreme sports that I would never do! Some people are diagnosed with cancer and lie down and resolve to die, but some people like Lance Armstrong will race marathons and win! Some couples have experienced the totally devastating event of losing a child to a miscarriage or an accident, and they will never try again. Some couples experience miscarriage three times and continue to try again.
Exodus 13:17 – When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
Also, God wanted to teach His people about Himself and his laws. This also took up time. But as referred to above, the major delay by far was because they doubted God’s power and showed cowardice.”
I’m not dare going to judge anyone’s circumstances because I have never went through either of those scenarios, and I praise God for it daily. I may go through them or some similarly devastating ones if I keep living long enough, but I know that it is important to keep a positive mindset. What a waste of life! These Israelites could have enjoyed so many blessed years in a promised land flowing with milk and honey! They could have enjoyed bunches grapes that it required two men to carry. They could have dwelled in an amazing place, but they never got there because they were ungrateful. They were rescued from slavery, but they didn’t like to walk in a desert? SHUT UP! If you had asked my ancestors to choose between walking a month’s journey or staying in slavery until they died, the overwhelming majority would have said, “See ya, Old Dirty South!” They would probably praise God because of His goodness and grace in hearing their prayers regardless of how long He took. But not these Israelites.
When you are untrusting of God, He may make you take the long way to your destination. You could be there in eleven days, but because you are so scary and don’t trust in God enough, He will take you the “Punk Route” which will take much longer. Suppose you wanted to get married at age 20, but because you were not serious about doing the work it takes to be a good wife or husband, your marriage is postponed. I admire cultures from India. These young women are taught from a young age how to cook, clean, be chaste until marriage, and respect men. Therefore, they are ready for marriage at a younger age. Now even though some of them may not feel developmentally mature to be a wife, they are ready.
In America we want to depend on our mommies and daddies forever, then we want to eat out all day, we are messy and unkempt, and we want to sleep around. We also have a problem respecting men. We say, “I’m not about to submit to man!” The bible said to do it, and men have obligations to us too! Men want to be childish and sow their wild oats, and they want to be children and not get a job to support their future wife and future kids. We seriously need to grow up mentally in America and get over this prolonged childhood that many Americans go through. And we wonder why we get married at 32 for men and 25 for women on average in the United States and why it 24 for men and 19 on average for women in India. Marriage is on the forefront of their minds, and they have long-lasting marriages. What you do not respect, you will not attract.
God will not bless you with things that you are not ready to experience. Some people want to do this, that, and the other, but because they look at their circumstances and limits rather than at God and His unlimited power and faithfulness, they end up taking the long trip. I don’t want to get married at age 40! I pray that God prepares me mentally and emotionally this year!
Not only did my God (the same God I serve today) deliver them from severe oppression, He also provided BREAD FROM HEAVEN! Imagine walking in a desert and seeing slices of Wonder bread falling for you. You did not sow that bread so you should not have reaped it, but God takes care of us like He does for the animals in His creation. God will take care of you! He will not ask you to embark upon a journey where He could not supply your need. He even provided them a cloud and some fire to lead them. He will be your Jehovahjireh even when you act a fool!
Exodus 13:22 – He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Matthew 6:25-26 – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Deuteronomy 32:16-20 – They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
Don’t build up idols when you don’t feel God. He’s there just as He was when He sent the plagues, as when He opened the Sea of Reeds, and as when He let manna fall down from heaven. How do you begin to doubt the same God who has been there for you so many times in the past? My mother would be insane to doubt God now when as a child, He healed her from Sickle Cell Anemia! Even if He does nothing else for her for the rest of her life, she knows that there is no cure for GENETIC DISORDERS! Cancers can be removed with chemo, radiation, and diet change, but you can’t change someone’s genetic code unless you’re GOD! What loser can see a split sea, know that it was God, and then melt together their earrings to make a fake calf?
It is so sad that these people never lived a good life. They were in bondage for so many years, and they died never seeing the promised land. How dare they pray for so many years for something and then not even appreciate it! Don’t pray to God for so many years about something if you can’t follow through with it – even with God’s help! Don’t pray to my God for 5 years for a wife and then give up when the times get tough. Don’t pray to my King for a job, when you are lazy and want to quit when the times get tough. Be careful what you pray for. Make sure you have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into when God decides to answer.
We need to learn how to Praise Him In Advance. Sometimes you can’t wait to praise God when the battle is over. You know why? Because no matter where you go, there will always be another battle. You can’t wait. You have to praise him in the midst of your storm just as David did so many times in Psalms. It’s like this. They were fortunate enough to know what would happen in the end of their journey. They KNEW they would have milk, honey, grapes, and freedom. In life nowadays, we don’t have as many specific prophecies. We don’t always see God do things as amazing as parting seas and raining down heaven bread. But these people saw God in a big way, knew where they were going, AND knew God was faithful to perform. The ONLY thing stopping them was their fears (trust in their enemies more than in their God), ungratefulness, idolatry, and complaining. If God told me that I was going to get a brand new Ferrari with a drop top with Lamborghini doors in just eleven days, I’m going to be GRATEFUL, I’m not going to worship the devil instead, I’m NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN, I’m not going to let my enemies scare me off from getting it, and I’m definitely going to do all that I can not to postpone it!
When there is the fear of the unknown in front of you and the familiar pain behind you, you don’t have to choose from this quandary. There is always another way out. LOOK UP!