Topic: Expect an Oasis
Text: Exodus 15:22-27
Key verse: Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water.
God of the mountains is still God in the valleys, when things go wrong, he’ll make them right, God of the good times, is still God in the bad times, God of day, is still God in the night. Life is a journey, man walked away from Eden, a place of fellowship, purpose and rest. From birth, man’s quest is for restoration in these areas of life. Without fellowship, life is lonely and boring. When all you have is human fellowship, your spirit is weak and faint. Fellowship with God gives life, peace and joy. If you lack it, life is like stale bread.
Purpose is the reason for man’s creation. A life not centered and driven by a pursuit of purpose is meaningless, and like Solomon would say, a chasing after the wind, its vanity! Life is not static; it is a journey from place to place, in search of rest. It takes man through different seasons, opportunities and challenges. Who you choose to travel with can bring some relief or increase your travail in the journey.
Israel had come out of a great experience of deliverance. The laws of nature were suspended by God for them to cross over the sea. Those same laws did not work for the Egyptians who were in their pursuit. Before their eyes, their enemies met their untimely death. They sang, they danced but they learnt nothing about the journey of life!
Some days down the road, as they continued to move forward, there was lack. There was no water in their path. Lack is a natural thing. As long as you are on earth, resources will be scarce. Whether you migrate to any part of the world, this law applies, resources are scarce, and water is a resource! Ineffective discipleship, false teachings and a basic desire for comfort are a few reasons why people are not equipped to handle the truth about scarce resources.
Parents promise their children everything life offers without adding the clause, as God provides. Pastors teach that “We can never be poor”, when Jesus said…” The poor you will always have with you”. The journey out of Egypt to the Promised Land must necessarily pass through the wilderness. The wilderness is not a comfortable place; it is a place of testing, preparation and equipping. Your attitude, mindset and choices will determine if you will get out to the land flowing with milk and honey, or if your journey ends there. The wilderness is not a place where salvation is delivered to families, it is a place where every man makes a decision to believe and obey God’s word for himself.
How do you cope with lack? Are you the same happy person when your account is overflowing with funds and when the funds are low? Sometimes, provisions come, but it is not what we expect. These may be bitter waters. Sometimes bitter waters represent a difficult marriage, a tough work environment, a challenging mission field, or a church full of difficult members. Israel complained and turned against Moses! The same Moses who had just brought them out of four hundred years captivity!
Moses’ response was different, he cried to God! He cried because he knew God and his ways. What you know about God is supposed to empower you, and give you the strength to have the right response. Head knowledge must translate to heart belief. Knowing God is the key to turning your challenges to exploits. Moses received the key to the solution as he turned to God.
Don’t turn away from God, don’t run away from people. You may have arrived at this point unprepared, God will use people to guide you and help you overcome the bitterness of life issues. There is always an action to take, an instruction to obey, an act of faith which will bring about your turn around. Ask God for it in prayers today, he will answer you.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
Down the road Israel arrived at an Oasis, a place of springs and palm trees. Don’t give up on God because of a bad patch on the journey of life. God has better things ahead of you. Always remember the promise and the picture God gave you, a land flowing with milk and honey. That’s the destination!
Don’t stop till you get there in Jesus name! Amen.