- Exodus 13:17-18
- Exodus 14:21-22, 27-28
- Genesis 8:22
- Galatians 6:9
- John 8:44
Tavner Smith’s sermon centers around the story of the Exodus, particularly the events after they flee from Egypt but before they cross the Red Sea.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.Exodus 14:21-22, 27-28 (NIV)
I want to tell the whole story instead of the Instagram sermon that doesn’t change lives.
I encourage you to read Exodus 13:17-14:31 to get the full story, or if you have more time, read all of the Exodus story from 1:1 to 14:31.
Point #1: Your position is on purpose.
17 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.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.Exodus 13:17-18
Moses doesn’t know the ending; he’s living this in real time. We assume it’s an attack from the enemy; but it could be a purposed position from God. The Word is powerful in its context. We quote it out of context and in our situation for our benefit.
An example of this (Nick’s example, not Tavner’s) is the popular verse from Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” But guess who this is addressed to, Verse 1 says, “This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon” (emphasis mine). Like the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt, this passage is written to people who had been carried back into slavery in Babylon.
We quote the Scriptures in our limited understanding because we’re trapped in chronology.
Point #2: Your position is part of the process.
God planted them at the shore of the Red Sea.
Pastor Tavner quotes Genesis 8:22 here which says, “As long as the earth endures, […] seedtime and harvest […] will never cease.” He goes on to emphasize seed, time, and harvest, to drive home the point that God’s process takes time. While I believe the point to be true–God is a God of process–his use of seedtime and harvest to drive home that point is not accurate: seedtime is one word and refers to the time of planting. Perhaps I’m being too pedantic here, but I think accuracy matters in this case.
He also refers to Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” which also uses the image of planting and harvesting.
We can’t be angry at God because we don’t have a harvest for a seed we didn’t plant.
In every phase of the seed, growth is happening. When God seems silent he is not still.
Point #3: Your position isn’t permanent.
When God speaks, he speaks nothing but truth, but when the devil speaks, he speaks nothing but lies.
There is no truth in him [the devil]. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.John 8:44b (NIV)
Other Passages to Check Out
- 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, and really, this whole chapter is good
- Galatians 6:7-10, context for Verse 9
- The Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15.
Great discussion questions are over here: eGroup Curriculum