God's Leadership - Part I: First Four Principles
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 15. The key verse to the entire book of Exodus is found in verse 13 of this chapter:

Exodus 15

13Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

The first statement is, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth thy people.” The discussion of how the children of Israel were led forth from the land of Egypt is presented in the first fifteen chapters of the book. The second statement is, “Thou hast guided them in thy strength.” The guidance and the direction of the Lord in the wilderness, commonly known as the wilderness wanderings, is presented in chapters 16-24. The last phrase, “thy holy habitation,” speaks of the tabernacle, the directions for which were given to Moses in the portion of the book which begins with chapter 25 and concludes with chapter 40.

The first statement, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people,” will be the theme of our present discussion, because we want to get the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. As we do, we will notice the Lord's leading of the children of Israel; it provides an excellent illustration of the manner in which God leads His children today. Turn, please, to chapter 12, the paragraph which begins with verse 31:

Exodus 12

31And he [Pharaoh] called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
32Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
33And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
34And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
35And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
36And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
37And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
38And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
39And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.
40Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
41And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
42It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

God's Leading is Orderly

I would like to give you one central thought that sums up these verses, and then we will point out a few things for emphasis. The first thing I would like to say is that God's leading is always orderly. This is the first of eight things that I want to emphasize–God's leading is always orderly. God's leadership is never haphazard; there is never any confusion; it is never based on a last-minute notice. If God is leading, His leadership is always orderly.

That is very evident from the verses at which we have looked. For example, God had made a promise to Abraham that when He should lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, He would lead them out a wealthy people. They had spent four hundred years in abject slavery, and they had nothing of their own. If God was going to make preparation to keep His promise, something had to be done; you will remember that the Israelites borrowed of the Egyptians such things as they required. The Egyptians were eager to give them what they asked, and they asked a great deal. Instead of being like an army of slaves leaving the land of Egypt, they left life a victorious army. All of that is suggested in the last statement of verse 36: “They spoiled the Egyptians.” They took with them much of value.

When we looked at this verse earlier, we pointed out that this is no indication of unrighteousness on the part of God, nor is it any indication of unfairness on the part of the Israelites; they were merely collecting the back wages which the Egyptians owed them. The Egyptians were glad for them to have everything they asked; they wanted them to leave hurriedly.

Preparation Necessary

You will notice also that the Israelites were prepared for this journey; God had told them about the journey and that they must be prepared for it, letting nothing interfere. Verse 11 of chapter 12 reads:

Exodus 12

11Thus shall ye eat it (referring to the Passover); with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover.

The Passover was tremendously important. It was to become a feast day for Israelites for generations to come, but more important than eating the Passover according to form and ritual was their being ready to leave when the signal to go was given. They ate the Passover with their long, flowing garments girded up about their waists so that they could leave in haste. They ate with one hand and kept their journeying staff in the other hand, because at any moment the message might come for them to leave, and they had to be prepared. Then notice in verse 34:

Exodus 12

34And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

They did not take the time to knead their dough and properly leaven it because they had already packed up their kneadingtroughs; they were already on their shoulders. When the call came, there would not be any confusion or consternation among the children of Israel; they would be able to leave in an orderly fashion.

Exodus Ordered and Led By God

That become evident if you will look at verse 37:

Exodus 12

37The children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside the children (and beside the women).

Stop and consider for a moment what we are reading: six hundred thousand men–not counting the women and children! Statisticians who have taken the trouble to figure out this verse of Scripture in relation to the complete exodus say that three to four million people left the land of Egypt on that eventful night. That is a tremendous number of people! I am not in a position to argue for or against that figure; certainly you will agree that even six hundred thousand–and we know there were more than that, because of the women and children–six hundred thousand was a tremendous number to leave the land under those conditions. But notice how orderly they left, because God was leading them. Look at verse 18 of chapter 13:

Exodus 13

18But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: [notice this statement very carefully] and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

How many times have you read that verse and wondered exactly what it meant? “The children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” The word “harnessed” is a very unhappy translation of the original text, and it means nothing as far as the real meaning of the verse is concerned. Actually, the verse should read this way: “God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up in rows of five out of the land of Egypt.” That makes a tremendous difference in the suggestion of the verse, does it not, especially in regard to the orderliness of this exodus? Three million people fleeing the land of Egypt–what a mob that would be! What utter confusion would be the result! But no, God was leading! God's leadings are always orderly; there is never any confusion.

This three million people lined up in rows of five and marched very orderly out of the land of Egypt. For those who are interested in the numerical study of the Bible, the number five is the number of grace, and it is significant to me that when these people left the land of Egypt, they would leave five in a row, instead of eight, or six, or nine, of some other number. I think it was a testimony to the fact that their deliverance was very definitely of grace.

Delivered By God's Might

Look at chapter 14, verse 8:

Exodus 14

8And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

We are particularly interested in the last statement of that verse, “the children of Israel went out with an high hand.” What do you think that means? Turn with me to the Acts of the Apostles and notice in chapter 13 a statement that may help us to understand what Moses meant when he said that the children of Israel went out of Egypt with a high hand. Remember that we are considering God's orderly leading.

Acts 13

14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
15After the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
16Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
17The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm brought he them out of it.
18And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.

Notice in verse 17 the statement, “with a high arm brought he them out of it.” When we read that the children of Israel “went out with a high hand,” it is not a reference to some exalted position that they held; it is a reference to the mighty arm of God that provided their deliverance. If God's mighty arm did provide their deliverance, then we can be sure that their deliverance was an orderly one.

No Confusion In God's Leading

So the first thing I would like for you to remember if you are seeking information about the leading of the Lord in your life is that His leading will never entail confusion. Will you remember that? His leading is always orderly; it is always well planned; it never results in confusion. If you find some individual who is constantly and consistently confused in everything that he does, you can be pretty sure that God has had nothing to do with his actions, that God is not leading, because God leads in an orderly fashion.

God's Route Not the Shortest

The second thing I would like to leave with you is that God does not always lead in the shortest and quickest way; God does not always lead by the shortest and the quickest route to any given destination. I believe this is one of the most important lessons we have to learn in regard to the leading of the Lord. If we do not learn it, we may be confused in any number of ways.

Let us suggest that the shortest way to the back of this room is directly down this aisle, but I must not always assume, for purposes of illumination, that if God is leading me, He will necessarily lead me down this central aisle; He might lead me over here; He might lead me over there, and He might lead me along that wall over there. He might even lead me down that hall to the outside of the building and back. He does not always lead the shortest way. If you will remember that, you will understand a bit better the leadership of the Lord as it was illustrated in the life of the nation of Israel. Notice verse 17 of Exodus, chapter 13:

Exodus 13

17And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them (notice our phrase again) not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
18But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed [in rows of five] out of the land of Egypt.

Notice the very definite statement in verse 17: “God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines.” If you were to look at a map of that area, you would see that the natural way to get to the land of Canaan from the land of Goshen in Egypt would be to travel the border of the Mediterranean Sea and to go into the land of Canaan through the land of the Philistines. That would be the shortest, most direct route to get there, but God did not lead them that way. Instead, He led them through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea; He led them by a devious route to get where they were going.

A very normal question in our minds is, “Why?” If you want to get somewhere, let's get there. Why waste the time? Why waste energy? If you are going to get something done, then get it done. That is the philosophy of the world. The best thing to do if there is something to be done is to do it; don't waste time waiting; don't waste time meandering; get it done. But God did not think so.

Illustrations of God's Compassion

There are a number of reasons why He did not. One of them is suggested in verse 17:

Exodus 13

17…God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.

This is one of the most interesting illustrations we could possibly find in the Word of God of God's compassion and understanding. Here were three million people worn down by taskmasters, by hardship, by servile labor. If they were to go through the land of the Philistines (the Philistines were a warlike people and might have made war on them) the Israelites would have been so discouraged at the hardship which they had to endure that they would have wanted to go back to the land of Egypt, and probably would have gone.

To emphasize God's compassion, turn to Psalm 103 and notice a verse of Scripture which many of you have marked in your Bibles; and if you have not, perhaps you will want to mark it because it may stand you in good stead when you think sometimes that God is being a little harder on you than He needs to be, that God is not particularly interested in your need:

Psalm 103

13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Like as a father has compassion on his children, so God has compassion on us. He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust; He knows all our weaknesses; He knows how much we can stand; He knows when we cannot bear something a moment longer and He does something about it.

Testing In God's Plan

Turn, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 10, and notice a familiar verse, the meaning of which I think is very largely lost because we associate the word “temptation” with sin or evil. It certainly includes that, and we would not rob you of any comfort or solace that you might get from this verse. But we would like to amplify it to something more than just temptation to sin:

I Corinthians 10

13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

That is certainly true of temptation to sin; you don't have to yield to it, for God has a way out. Let me change the word “temptation,” in the light of the lesson we are trying to bring, and use the word “testing,” the word “trial,” and see if this does not become a very precious promise. “There hath no trial…” Have you ever been tried? Are you going through trials? Well, may I say to you that if you have not, you will be. If you don't know what it is to live through trials, you are not living very deep with God; you are just skimming the surface. “There hath no trial taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,…” How is He faithful? So faithful that He will never permit you to go through any trials? All you need to do is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and live right and you will never have any more problems? No, that is not so! That is foolology; it is not theology; and if you will learn the difference, you will be a lot better off.

A Way to Escape

“There hath no testing or trial taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tested above that ye are able;…” You may wonder about that. You may wonder whether God does not have you marked up for someone else; you may wonder whether God is a little mixed up about the situation. You may be saying, “Well, He has said He will not test me above what I am able, but I don't know; I don't know whether I can take any more of this or not.”

Notice what He said: “He will with the testing or trial also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust. God in His compassion and His understanding knew that if the Israelites had gone through the land of the Philistines, which was by far the shortest route, they would have been so discouraged they never would have reached their final destination. So you see, God does not always lead by the shortest route; sometimes what seems short to us is not best.

Trials for the Purpose of Training

Turn, please, to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, as I suggest another reason from the Word of God why God did not lead the Israelites directly to their destination. We find a simple statement concerning the reason He led the children of Israel through the wilderness.

Deuteronomy 8

1All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.
2And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness…

That much we know; He led them in the wilderness, but why did He lead them in the wilderness?

Deuteronomy 8

2…to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3And he humbled and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
4Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
5Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Keep in mind something I feel consistently the need of emphasizing: the word “chastening” could better be translated “child training.” So many people think that God has it in for them, that He just loves to belt them about, but He doesn't. This word “chastening” means “child training.” Now in regard to the child training, He may have to spank us, as sometimes we have to use corporal punishment on our children; but it is not because He has something against us. He is training us. With that thought in mind, notice what He said in verse 2 of Deuteronomy, chapter 8:

Deuteronomy 8

2…He led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

So often, you know, we say that we want God's will. So often we are just sure that we want God's will above everything else, but that is not always true. Sometimes we want what we think is God's will, because we see someone who is apparently in God's will and everything that is happening in his life seems to be wonderful and good. We sit down and say, “Well, now, if I am in God's will, then everything is going to be good for me.” But that may not be true. If God should lead you directly to Canaan from Egypt, when you got to Canaan, you might be really miserable. Canaan is where you want to go, and Canaan has what you think you want, but if you go directly there, you may be very miserable. So what happens? God leads you through the wilderness to test you, to try you, to prove you, to be sure that you want to follow the will of God.

To Know God

Notice in verse 3 that He lead the children of Israel through these wilderness experiences so that they could know Him. We speak of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and that is the privilege of every born-again believer. You cannot know Him without knowing Him as your Savior. But after I have said that, I want to say that that does not mean that we all know the Lord in the same way. There are some folk who know the Lord in a way that I will never know Him because the Lord has led them through wilderness experiences that I have never had. There are some folk who know the Lord in a personal way that will never be my privilege because they have known hours of suffering which I have never experienced.

That is the thought of verse 3: “He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger.” That would be terrible if we should stop right there. God led these poor people out into the wilderness and let them go hungry, but it does not stop there. “He fed thee with manna which thou knowest not.” This simply means “manna that you did not understand, that you could not understand.” Your fathers did not know anything about it either, but God provided it; He fed you. And why? In order that you might know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Why is it that God leads us the longest way around sometimes? So that we may know Him and so that before we get to the destination that we have in mind, we will learn to be happy in the place where we are. There are many people who think they know what God's will is for their lives. They start down the road and they get there, and then they are miserable because they were not following God's leading.

Listening to God's Leading

Go back to Exodus, chapter 13, and notice one or two other things I would like to leave with you. I would like to point out verse 19, which contains words which you and I have read, perhaps without a great deal of thought, but to me they are significant, in line with what we are talking about.

Exodus 13

19And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straightly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones hence with you.

You will remember that when Joseph was in the land of Egypt, he told the Israelites that God would lead them out someday, and he said, “I want you to take me with you when He does.” The body of Joseph had been embalmed by processes known only to the Egyptians. As a matter of fact, the mummy of the Pharaoh who put the children of Israel into slavery–the one before the man on the throne when they went out–is in a British Museum today. That is how good they were at this particular act. Joseph was mummified, or embalmed–whatever you want to say. He had said, “When you leave, take me with you, because I want to be buried in the promised land; I don't want to stay here in the land of Egypt.” Moses believed what Joseph had said, which was tantamount to believing what God had said, and he took the body of Joseph with him.

How does that impress you? Well, for a practical-minded person it seems to be the silliest thing imaginable. Why load themselves down with a dead body, with all the work they had to do and the journey they had to make? Why, it would have been much simpler if some of them had slipped back to Egypt and got that body after they settled in the land! But you see, they were listening to the voice of God; they were following the leadership of the Lord.

God Leads By Faith

I want to suggest the third thing in regard to the leadership of God. It is that God leads by faith, even though that leading may seem ridiculous to others and burdensome to you. Let me say that again, because it is a principle that you need to remember. God leads by faith, even though it may seem ridiculous to others and burdensome to you. When I say He leads by faith, keep in mind a thing that I have constantly tried to emphasize: It is not as important that you have faith as it is that you know the object of your faith.

There is an awful lot of talk around today about faith and what will happen if you only have faith and if you only believe, but if the object of your faith is not Who it ought to be, you will be disappointed and disillusioned. The faith here is faith in God's Word.

Because we believe God's Word, sometimes when we are seeking the leading of the Lord, we have to do things that seem ridiculous to the world–to people who do not know Christ. I have often heard it said, “Why, God always leads in a sane, sensible fashion.” Well, that depends on who is expressing the opinion. The Bible says that the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world (I Corinthians 1:18). You need not expect the world–the unsaved portion of our population–to understand or approve of what you do when you are acting in accordance with the Word of God. If you are trying to do something that will seem sensible and logical and acceptable to them, stop wasting your time. God sometimes leads in a way that seem ridiculous to the world.

Can you think of anything more ridiculous than toting a mummy across the desert? But God said to do it. I might add, and I think the text speaks for itself, that sometimes if you follow the leading of the Lord, it will be burdensome for you. You will find sometimes that if you obey God's Word, it is a burdensome thing. There are people who will tell you, “If you will just obey the Word of God, you will always be happy.” It is not always as easy as that. Sometimes in the flesh we are tempted to forget certain parts of the Word of God because it would just be easier to go along with the crowd. So God does lead by faith in ways that sometimes seem ridiculous to others and cumbersome or burdensome to you.

A Place of Entanglement

Look at verse 20 of chapter 13 as I say something that many of you may find difficult to accept, but it is in the Word of God, and we may as well face it:

Exodus 13

20And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.

Skip the next two verses and go to chapter 14:

Exodus 14

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
3[Notice carefully this verse] For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.

If you read this chapter with a map before you, you will understand this a little more clearly. The children of Israel left Rameses where they were in the land of Goshen. They went down to Succoth; from Succoth they went to Etham, and they could have gone right across into the wilderness, had they gone directly. But notice what we read in verse 2:

Exodus 14

2Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn…

They were going one way, and God said, “No, no, not that way; turn,” and they followed God's leading. Where did they wind up? In a place of entanglement. They wound up with Pharaoh back of them, the Red Sea on one side of them, the wilderness and mountains of Migdol on the other side. So there was nothing in the world for them to do but to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14:13).

God's Leading In Places of Danger

So let me suggest another principle in regard to the leading of the Lord; God sometimes, for reasons known to Him, leads us into places of danger. Someone says, “Wait just a minute! I don't believe God would do that.” Well, look at verse 4 where God said:

Exodus 14

4And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.

“God, did you get your geography wrong? Was your compass out of order? Why did you lead us to this place where we are entangled on every side? Why?” Someone comes along and says, “God didn't have anything to do with that. You ought to have followed your map; God didn't have anything to do with that; you ought to have gotten a new compass.” But God answered, “Yes, I did have something to do with it. I wanted you to leave right there because I knew that Pharaoh would hear about it, and I knew he would say to his leaders, 'There they are; they are entangled between the desert and the sea, and they are in a perfect pocket for us to get hold of them. Let's go get them!' When Pharaoh gets here I will be honored in him, because I am going to provide deliverance which only I can provide. I will be honored in Pharaoh in this fashion.”

I remind you, and I hope you won't forget it, that sometimes God leads into places of entanglement. Sometimes God puts us in situations where we are helpless, where only He can work, that His glory may be shown.

Israelites Reproach God

Notice verse 5 of Exodus, chapter 14:)

Exodus 14

5And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
6And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
8And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
9But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
10And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
11And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Does that language sound familiar? Have you ever been in a place of entanglement and have you reproached God for it? Have you ever told God you could have done it better than He did? Have you ever told God He had made pretty much of a mess out of your life? Well, that is what these Israelites were saying. There was a reason for it. It was because of that at which they were looking.

Exodus 14

10And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them (or beheld the Egyptians marching after them) .

At what were they looking when they were reproaching God? They were looking at the Egyptians. At what were they looking when they were mad at God and criticizing Moses? They were looking at the circumstances. When God leads into places of entanglement, you will be exactly like the Israelites if you don't keep your eyes on Him, if you don't keep your eyes on Him instead of on the circumstances about you.

Illustration of Peter

Let us draw into our discussion an illustration we have used many times–one that you have read many times–the story of Peter's walking on the water.

The disciples had worked in the boat on the sea in the night. The Lord Jesus came walking to them on the water (Matthew 14). They were afraid, just as you or I would have been. They did not know who it was, and the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Don't worry; be of good cheer; it is I; don't be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Peter said, “Lord, is it you? Lord, if it is You, bid me walk to you on the water.” Everyone in the boat criticized him, but no one else had that idea, and you will notice the Lord Jesus Christ did not rebuke him. He said, “Come on.”

You remember the story: Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water and walked toward Jesus. If the story had ended there, it would be a most marvelous miracle to discuss, but Peter was human. The very next verse says that Peter, seeing the waves, began to sink; and he cried, “Lord, save me!” You see, nothing had changed. Those waves were there when he stepped out of the boat. Jesus was still there. Peter's faith was still there, but he began to look at the waves. When he began to look at the waves, he was overwhelmed; he was going under, and the Lord saved him.

That was the problem of these Israelites. They saw the Egyptians, and in seeing the Egyptians, they lost their confidence in God.


Home Contact Us Bible Studies Books King James
Abilene Bible Church Living Bible Studies
Dr. Daiqing Yuan Tim Temple Dr. Joe Temple
Some icons on this site used courtesy FatCow Web Hosting

www.livingbiblestudies.org