I just finished a book I wanted to recommend to you all: The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. It’s a short book (just over 100 pages) based on Exodus 14–when God leads the Israelites to the Red Sea and they are chased by Pharaoh’s army. Pastor Morgan draws out 10 “rules” based on this episode in the life of God’s chosen people. He illustrates each rule with real-life stories. And, lest you wonder if this is an easy, fix-it-quick book, in his preface he writes: “These aren’t ten quick-and-easy steps to instant solutions, In my case, it took quite a while to work through the anguish and achieve a positive result.”
The subtitle of the book is: The Same God who Led You In Will Lead You Out. Rule #1 is “Realise that God means for you to be where you are.” An excerpt from that chapter:
Some circumstances are beyond our control, and something as simple as the ringing of a phone, a card in the mail, or a knock on the door can push us off the wire. We fall into a world of worry. Someone defined worry as a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind, cutting a channel into which all other thoughts flow.
The preacher John R. Rice said, “Worry is putting question marks where God has put periods.”
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen called worry “a form of atheism, for it betrays a lack of faith and trust in God.”
But for some of us, worry seems as inherent as breathing.
Sound familiar? Morgan ends this section with this:
In the story of the Red Sea, the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud and fire as carefully as possible, thrilled with their new freedom, full of excitement about the future. Yet as they followed Him, God deliberately led them into a cul-de-sac between hostile hills, to the edge of a sea too deep to be forded and too wide to be crossed.
The unmistakable implication of Exodus 14:1-2 is that the Lord took responsibility for leading them into peril. He gave them specific, step-by-step instructions, leading them down a route to apparent ruin: Turn and camp. Camp there. There, before the entrapping sea. Yes, right there in that impossible place.
The Lord occasionally does the same with us, testing our faith, leading us into hardship, teaching us wisdom, showing us His ways. Our first reaction may be a surge of panic and a sense of alarm, but we must learn to consult the Scriptures for guidance.
So, take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself.
The same God who led you in will lead you out.