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Detours, Dead Ends, and Dry Holes | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2020 8:00 am

Detours, Dead Ends, and Dry Holes | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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October 6, 2020 8:00 am

As God leads us through life, we may find ourselves on back roads, dead-end alleys, or in dry places. In this message, Adrian Rogers explains what we should do when we face detours, dead ends, and dry holes.

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God specializes in things to display His glory and His might. If you're living in the Spirit and if you have your eye on that pillar of cloud and that pillar of fire.

Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring powerful truth spoken simply by Adrian Rogers. Now in part one of today's message, which aired yesterday, we learned that as we journey through life, we may find ourselves on back roads, dead end alleys, or in dry places. But as we see in Exodus chapter 13 and chapters 17 and 18, God knows exactly what He's doing. There is discipline to learn in the detours and miracles to witness at the dead ends. What does it mean when we come to a dry hole of disappointment? If you have your Bible, turn to Exodus.

We'll begin in chapter 13 as Adrian Rogers concludes his message, detours, dead ends, and dry holes. God was taking the Israelites out of the land of Egypt through the wilderness and into the land that flowed with milk and honey, into the promised land. Why didn't God just take the shortest route? We say that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.

It may be the shortest distance, but it's not always the best distance. And God has a purpose many times in His detours, and He tells us very quickly and very plainly why He did not lead them directly into the wilderness. It's in verse 17, and it came to pass that when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near, for God said, less peradventure the people repent when they see war and they return to Egypt. Now, God knew had He taken them the straight way, they would have gone through Philistia. And if they had gone through Philistia, they would have met the warlike Philistines. And when they saw the Philistines, they would have been frightened. And when they were frightened and their hearts were filled with fear, they would have turned around, they would have turned their heels, and they would have gone back to Egypt.

They would have become dismayed, they would have become discouraged, and they would have become defeated. And so God didn't lead them that way. Now, God knew that they weren't ready.

Now, God has a land of blessing for you, and God has a place of fulfillment for you, and God has a job for you to do. And so that winding road, that rocky road, that desert road, that wilderness road that sometimes we find ourselves on does not mean that we're out of the will of God. God led them. This is the whole point, that God led them on a detour. God did not lead them to the straightest route.

Sometimes, folks, you can get there too quickly. Now, doubtless, they didn't understand it. They didn't know what was going on at that time. They didn't know all that God had in store for them, but they didn't have to know. It's enough that God knew. He led them on a detour to discipline them, to help them to grow, to toughen up.

But I want you to notice also the dilemma of dead ends. They're on one side of the mountains, and on the other side of the mountains, and in front is the Red Sea, and behind them comes Pharaoh with his sword glittering in the sun and blood in his eye, and all of his armies and all of his chariots. They were between the sword and the sea. They were boxed in. They were hemmed in.

There was no way out that they could see, and now they began to blame Moses. Now, God brought them to the place of desperation that he might bring them to the place of dependence. What is the purpose of a dead end in your life? When you come to the place, I mean by the hand of God that God brings you there.

What is the purpose of it? Well, the four things that God told the Israelites are true of you today. What does God want you to do? Number one, fear not. Look in verse 13.

Look at it. And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not. You see, God will allow you to come to a place where there seems to be all kinds of things to fear. And then he says, fear not. And then he says to you, stand still. Look if you will please in verse 13.

And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not. Stand still. That is, it's out of your hands now.

Finally, there's nothing you can do. The Bible says in Psalm 46 verse 10, be still and know that I am God. Oh, we hurry around.

We're so busy manipulating, trying, conniving, scheming. But finally, we come to a place where God hems us in with the sea here, the mountain here, the mountain there, and the devil behind. And there's no way out but up. Just stand still.

Be still and know that I am God. We always think we have to do something, even if it's wrong, don't we? Sometimes God places us in a place where there's nothing we can do. I mean, there's no counselor we can go to. There's no banker can help us. There's no doctor can help us.

And no one can help us. God just says, fear not. Stand still.

Be still and know that I am God. The place, the dead end that he brings us to. I mean, just a dead end.

Just a dead end. A dilemma. And then we just fear not. We stand still and then notice next and see the salvation of the Lord. Now, that doesn't mean to see it after it takes place.

It hadn't taken place when he told him to see it. In other words, you by the eye of faith see what God is going to do. It didn't mean stand still and watch God do it because God didn't do it until they started moving again. It meant stand still long enough for you to see what God is going to do before he does it.

You see, we see things that are not as though they are that they might be so. There is just this time of faith where we just simply say, I refuse to fear. I stop. I place myself, dear God, in your hands.

If you don't do it, it won't be done. And now by faith, I see my way out even when I don't see it. All right, and then, then God shows us the way, the way that we've never seen before. Look in verse 15, and the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore Christ thou unto me, speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.

There's no contradiction here where he says on the one hand stand still and then on the other hand when he says go forward. We have to come to that place of rest and confidence where by faith we see God in action and then again we move in a way that we've never seen before. And notice what God did when God said to them, go forward. In verse 16, but lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thine hand over the sea and divide it and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. Do you know what God did to that dead end?

He turned it into an eight lane super highway and dry shod, they went through the Red Sea. God knows a way for you. Have you any rivers that seem to be uncrossable?

Have you any mountains you cannot tunnel through? God specializes in things that seem impossible. He knows a thousand ways to make a way for you. I am the Lord thy God.

Is there anything too hard for me? And that so-called impossibility in your life is God's opportunity to display his glory and his might if you're living in the spirit and if you have your eye on that pillar of cloud and that pillar of fire. Now I want us to move on and think not only of the discipline of detours and I want us not only to think about the dilemma of dead ends, but I also want us to think about the disappointment of dry holes because continue to read now in chapter 15 this time and look in verse 22. So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea. Now notice Moses, God's man, is still leading. They still haven't gotten lost. They still haven't misread the map.

God is still leading, but notice now the strange way that he leads them. And Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea and they went out into the wilderness of Shur and they went three days into the wilderness and found no water. Detours, dead ends, and dry holes. You think, brother, we better throw this map away and get another one. All night long we thought at least we'd have a motel. Now we can't even find a motel. The one we found had got no running water.

Here it is. They've come to the end of the road now. At least they're on the road and they're weary, bone weary, and they come to this place. Now God hasn't sent them here because they've done wrong. This is not punishment when they come to this place of bitterness and barrenness. They're here by divine providence. God brought them here for a purpose. You want to see what that purpose was?

Well, continue to read. And when they came, I'm reading in verse 23 now, and when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore, the name of it was called Marah.

The word Marah means bitterness. And the people murmured against Moses saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and notice this phrase now, just underscore it, and there he proved them. There he proved them. Literally that means therefore he tested them. You know, they make a new automobile, they take it out to the test track, the proving grounds, and they put it through all the rigors, the bumps.

You've seen advertisements of them going around skids and through water and over bumps and all of that. They call that the proving ground. That's exactly what this was for God's people. There God was proving them, and there it was that God was testing them. God gave them a test, and they failed it miserably. Incidentally, I'll turn to Deuteronomy chapter 8 in verse 2 while you're right there in the neighborhood, and you'll see again what God's plan was for them. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these 40 years in the wilderness, now watch it, to humble thee and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldst keep his commandments or no. Now, you see, God knew exactly what he was doing, and when they came to this place in the wilderness where there was no water, it wasn't because God was mad at them, and it wasn't because they had sinned, and it wasn't because Moses was a bad leader, and the devil didn't do it to them. It was perfectly normal and natural. If you follow the Lord, you're going to find your life is going to be one of detours and dead ends and dry holes because you're walking in the Spirit.

Now, that's quite a revelation. That's quite a revelation because so many times we say, what went wrong? Nothing went wrong.

Not a thing in the world went wrong. God is on the throne, and he's leading you, and in this particular instance, when you come to the disappointment of a dry hole, God is giving you a test, and I pray, God, that you won't fail it. Now, how did Israel do when they came to their test? They failed it, and they failed it miserably. Now, look, if you will, in verse 24, and you'll see how they failed the test. The Bible says in Exodus 15, verse 24, and the people murmured against Moses, saying, what shall we drink? And they started to murmur against Moses. Now, that's a remarkable thing because the 15th chapter of Exodus is what we call the song of Moses. They'd just come through the Red Sea on that super highway that we were talking about, and they were dancing, ecstatic with joy, and they were praising the Lord, and now just three days later, they're murmuring, and they're complaining. I just declare, I believe, that was the first Baptist church in the wilderness.

There they were. Just three days ago, they'd been singing Moses' song, and now they're murmuring against Moses. Moses has gone in three days from hero to zero, and Moses says to them, and I want you to learn this, if you're a murmurer, when you come to a disappointment in life, when you come to a dry hole along the road, there's no motel for you with hot and cold running water, and it just seems like life has done you dirty.

I want you to notice when you complain what you're really doing. Exodus chapter 16 in verse 8, look at it. Moses says in the last part of that verse, your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.

One of the greatest lessons you can ever learn, you teenagers who are murmuring about your parents, God gave you those parents. People murmur about the teacher, the pastor, murmur about their boss. You see, God gave them Moses, and they murmured against Moses. And so if God gave them Moses, and they murmured against Moses, what they were really doing was murmuring against God. And when God leads you into a circumstance, and when God somehow in His wisdom leads you to one of life's dry holes and to some of life's bitter water, and you murmur and you complain, you're really murmuring against God.

And I want to tell you something, friend. Murmuring is no little sin. Murmuring is a great sin, and God lists murmuring with idolatry and fornication. Just turn to 1 Corinthians 10 for just a moment.

We're almost finished this morning. But look, if you will, please, in 1 Corinthians 10. I'm going to begin reading in verse 6 because God is speaking about these same people to the church.

That is, He's speaking to you and to me. And the Bible says, Now these things were our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted. Neither be ye idolaters as were some of them.

As it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Neither commit fornication as some of them committed and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them were tempted and were destroyed of serpents. And now notice verse 10. Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer. Notice God lists murmuring with tempting Christ. God lists murmuring with fornication.

God lists murmuring with idolatry, and God lists murmuring with lusting. You see, why did they murmur? When they came to this place, God was leading them. The pillar of cloud was there. The pillar of fire was there. They were being led of the Lord. Moses was there. The word of God was there.

Why did they murmur when they came to a place like that? It was a lack of faith, and it was also a lack of reason. God had just brought them through the Red Sea.

Now folks, be reasonable. Would God have brought them through the Red Sea so wonderfully just to bring them to a place and let them die without water? I mean, would God do that? Had God so marvelously delivered them in order to destroy them? That doesn't make sense. Now I want to ask you a question. If Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and has saved you, do you think He saved you to abandon you when you come to some place like that?

Do you think God brought you that far, that God did so much, that God has so much invested in you that He did all of that for you, and after having brought you that far and having died for you, that now He's going to abandon you? Can't you understand that their murmuring was rooted in unbelief and it was a terrible, horrible sin against God? Well, there was no need for them to murmur. They couldn't see it. There was no water. The water that was there was bitter. You couldn't drink it.

And as far as they were concerned, it was terrible. But I want you to notice what God did again. Look, if you will, please, in verse 25. I'm Exodus 15, verse 25.

Well, let's get verse 24 to get the sense. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord. And there are always those two classes of people in the church, those who bellyache at the pastor and those who know how to pray.

All right. And the people murmured against Moses, but Moses went to the Lord. And he cried unto the Lord.

Now watch. And the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. And he made for them a statue and an ordinance, and there he proved them. God showed Moses a tree. Now the thing I want you to see is the whole time they were murmuring, the whole time they were complaining, that tree was there. The whole time.

The whole time. God had already made provision. God already knew what he was going to do. There's no panic in heaven, only plans.

Only plans. God didn't create the tree. He showed the tree.

It was already there. And that tree, of course, speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ that Jeremiah calls the righteous branch. It speaks, of course, of Calvary, for the Bible says in Peter that Jesus died upon a tree. There God brought them to this place of dryness and this place of desperation that he might display to them by type, by picture, by symbol, the sufficiency of Calvary and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even in the barren places and even in the bitter places, Jesus is enough. Oh, he wants us to learn it. So many times we come to the test where God wants to test us and he wants to prove us and we come to some dry hole along the road of life, some place of barrenness, some place of bitterness.

Oh, I pray, God, you won't fail the test. You see, the amazing thing about this bunch of mumblers is this, that right over the hill, not very far away, was a gorgeous, beautiful oasis. Look, if you will, please, in verse 27. And they came to Elam where there were 12 wells of water and three score and ten palm trees and they encamped there by the waters. I mean, one of the most beautiful oases that you could ever imagine and it was right over the hill.

They couldn't see it. Now, there's somebody right here. You camp right now by dry hole.

I mean, and the water that you can find is absolutely bitter. You're saying God has forsaken me. God hasn't forsaken you. God's proven you. You're not out of the will of God. God brought you there.

It's right on the map. That's the route. That's exactly where God wants to bring you. Don't complain. Don't murmur.

Calvary is sufficient for you. And right over the hill, God has his oasis. You can't see it, but God can see it. God can see it. Now, look, friend, the important thing in life is not for you to know what God knows.

You'll never know that. His ways are not your ways and his thoughts are not your thoughts. The important thing for you in life is this, that you keep your eye on that pillar of cloud and that pillar of fire, which translated out in New Testament times is that you walk in the Spirit, that you keep your heart right with God, and if you go on a detour, praise God. If you come to a dead end, praise God.

If you come to a dry hole, praise God. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All you have to do is follow. Will you follow him and let him have his way and not complain and not murmur? Lord, I would clasp my hand in thine, nor ever murmur, nor repine, content whatever lot I see, since tis thy hand that leadeth me.

Will you follow him? Let him lead you on this journey. Maybe you have questions today about how to do that, how to surrender to Jesus Christ and place your faith fully in what he has done for you. Go to our Discover Jesus page at the website. You'll find answers there that you may need about your faith. There's a response section where you can share how this message and others have impacted you. Simply go to lwf.org slash radio and click Discover Jesus at the top of the page.

We can't wait to hear from you today. lwf.org slash radio and click Discover Jesus. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, request one by the title Detours, Dead Ends, and Dry Holes when you call 1-877-LOVE-GOD. This message is also part of the powerful series Standing for Light and Truth. For that complete collection, all 11 insightful messages including today's, call 1-877-LOVE-GOD or go to lwf.org slash radio.

You can also write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Thanks for joining us for this convicting lesson. If you're facing impossibilities or disappointments today, remember, the Lord knows the way through the wilderness.

All we have to do is follow Him. Be sure to join us next time for more profound truths simply stated right here on Love Worth Finding. A listener in Texas sent this testimony. She said, Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the soul-saving messages of Adrian Rogers. I had never heard such knowledgeable and passionate preaching. Our church is closed because of COVID-19, so my family and I are thankful for the teachings of Pastor Rogers. Thank you for keeping his legacy going. We are honored to share these timeless messages at such a crucial time in our nation, and when you donate to Love Worth Finding right now, we want to send you the book, Standing for Light and Truth. Learn the causes of America's moral darkness and the destiny of those who turn away from the light in this insightful collection of messages from Pastor Rogers. Request the book, Standing for Light and Truth, when you call 1-877-LOVEGOD with a gift. Or give online to support us at lwf.org slash radio. And again, thanks for your generosity to us here at Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 11:55:25 / 2024-02-23 12:05:10 / 10

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