Could the rejection you’re experiencing be God’s guidance to something different? Could the attack ultimately be his protection? Now I know it doesn’t look like it, and it certainly doesn’t feel like it, but honey, God works in seemingly negative situations for positive impact in your life.
Check this out … the Israelites were God’s chosen people. He had good plans for them in a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. But their current reality was 400 years of slavery in Egypt. How would he get them out of Egypt and keep them out? How would he push them on to freedom? Through attack!
After the plagues of blood turning to water, frogs, lice, gnats, boils, hail, locusts … I mean everything bad happening in Egypt making life absolutely miserable, Pharaoh was finally convinced he couldn’t keep his slaves any longer and he let the Israelites go. But the story wouldn’t end there. Y’all, guess what God, in his divine wisdom and power, did next. Just go ahead and guess. You would never guess. You wouldn’t imagine what he did next.
Exodus 14:4 “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them.
After the Israelites were set free, he hardened Pharaoh’s heart to chase after them. I crap you not. That’s for real what happened! I can’t make this stuff up!
Wait, God, after 400 years you just set them free. You just did all these crazy plagues to make Pharaoh see your favor upon your people and cause him to loosen his grip on them, but now you’re hardening his heart so that he will purposely pursue them? You want him to chase after them? What???? Is God like bi-polar or something.
Let them be free. No, let Pharaoh chase after them. Protect them. No, pursue them. Which is it God. What are you doing? And while we’re questioning why God would do this to the Israelites, we’re really questioning him for ourselves. God, why are you allowing this hardship in my life? Why the rejection? Why the closed door? Why the struggle? I thought you were working for my good, but this just seems really bad right now.
Oh but sis … read the rest of the verse. God reveals his why.
Exodus 14:4 “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
God had plans to reveal himself through this pursuit. Not only reveal himself to the Egyptians, but reveal himself to the Israelites who were being pursued.
Were the Israelites afraid? Absolutely they were! Verses 10-12 “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Ahhhhh, there it is. Ding, ding, ding. The Israelites were willing to just settle in Egypt. They were willing to remain slaves and die in what was familiar than risk freedom in the unknown. And I assure you, without the Egyptians chasing them now, they would have surely hit the first little bump on their journey through the desert, and they would have turned to go back to what they had just escaped from.
Just like you would go back. You too would have gone back and settled in a life far short of what you were created for. You would have opted for familiar misery over the hard pursuit of the unknown. And that is exactly why God slammed that door. That’s exactly why he said NO, not now and not ever. Because he always had something greater for you.
Don’t you know God loves you entirely too much to just let you go back to what was never working in the first place? And don’t you know God will harden some hearts along the way to make sure you don’t go back?
The Israelites were convinced they had been brought all this way to just die. Here comes Pharaoh and 600 of his best chariots, chasing after them as they are hemmed in by the Red Sea. Certain defeat. Certain destruction. Certain death.
BUT GOD …..
Don’t you know when things look inevitably hopeless it’s God’s perfect stage to reveal his unfathomable power?
What came next? Yassssssss, the parting of the Red Sea. The miraculous splitting of the sea where it stood on it’s ends, making a perfect dry path for the Israelites to walk right through, unharmed. And this only happened because first, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and made him chase after them.
First the hard stuff, then God’s impossible stuff.
Are you going to have to walk through the hard stuff, with some people, and some odds, stacked against you? Yes.
Some of that is because people be confused and do stupid stuff sometimes. But let me assure you, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you’re faced with people and odds stacked against you because God said it would be this way. Why? So you would be pushed to the better plans he has for you. So you wouldn’t turn back when the going got tough. So you would have no other option but to face the impossible and see God working on your behalf. And then … well, then you know!
You know God works in mysterious ways to bring you to miraculous places.
Yesterday we learned that God can cause our eyes to not see what’s right in front of us, and cause our minds to not comprehend what we’re reading or hearing. And at just the right time, God opens our eyes and our minds to reveal himself to us. In the same way, God works through hardened hearts, closed doors, rejection, hardship, and persecution!
This isn’t to defeat you. This isn’t to destroy you. This is to get you to step into your destiny and never turn back to what is familiar.
Romans 9:18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.”
You are loved beyond your wildest imagination by the God who created you, then sent his son to rescue you. And let me tell you, he has no problem with hardening the path, hardening the journey, and hardening a few people along the way, to ensure you walk in the mercy he has planned for you.
Don’t you understand, you can’t go back there because there’s something so much greater waiting for you, and it’s not back there. God, in all of his infinite wisdom, knew his girl would go back if she could, so he had to shut that down.
This is why it didn’t work.
This is why they said no.
This is why you weren’t chosen.
This is why it fell apart.
This is why it got so darn hard.
You’re being pushed toward a greater destiny ahead. And maybe you can look around at your life right now and see it. You see proof of God’s mercy and glory in your life. You see the greater things he had waiting for you as your reality now.
Or maybe you’re still standing on the edge of the sea, watching the attack close in, feeling overwhelmed, feeling discouraged, asking why would God do this to you. Well Sis, what you don’t know, is God is about to part that sea and make a way for you. And when he does, you will know you were always destined for greater things and going back to what he rescued you from will never be in your future.
Look around. There’s a deeper meaning. God is guiding you to what he has promised you.
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