The God of the Path Beneath the Waters











Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, and more specifically is found in the forty-second chapter of the book. There is a tremendous amount of truth that is contained and found within this chapter—truth which when properly and correctly applied can dramatically alter the course of one’s life. When reading this chapter I am choosing not to begin with the very first verse of the chapter, but rather leaping to the sixteenth verse. As I began reading this chapter I felt a tremendous urge and pull to start with the sixteenth verse of the chapter and to build upon that verse. Consider how the sixteenth verse reads within this chapter—“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, ye are our gods” (Isaiah 42:16-17). The words of the prophet within the sixteenth verse are absolutely incredible—especially when you consider them in light of the journey you are currently on in your life. The prophet Isaiah reveals to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah that the Lord would bring the blind by a way that they knew not, and would lead them in paths they have not known. When considering the journey of the children of Israel out of and from the land of Egypt—where the only thing they knew for over four-hundred years was slavery, bondage and oppression—I can’t help but get the strong sense that the Lord led His chosen people by a way that they knew not, and especially in paths they have not known. I am reminded of the words which Moses recorded in the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus concerning the journey of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt. “And it came to pass, 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, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and return to Egypt: but God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Ethan, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: he took not away the pillar of the cloud by dear, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13:17-22).

 If there is one thing we learn from the journey of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan, it’s that their journey could have been completely and entirely different than it actually was. Moses records how the Lord didn’t lead the children of Israel through the way of the land of the Philistines ALTHOUGH THAT WAS NEAR. Please don’t miss the significance and importance of those words, for those words dramatically shape and alter the journey the Lord has most of us on in this present age. When the Lord delivered the children of Israel from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt, He could have brought them forth from the land of Egypt and brought them north through the territory of the Philistines. Such a journey would and could have only taken eleven days to get from the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan. WHEN AN ELEVEN DAY JOURNEY TURNS NTO A FORTY YEAR WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS! WHEN AN ELEVEN DAY JOURNEY IS TRANSFORMED INTO A FORTY YEAR EXCURSION IN THE WILDERNESS! The Lord had a specific journey for the children of Israel once they emerged from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt. These words reveal something which many of us have a hard time with—especially when we consider them in light of our own lives and the journey the Lord has many of us on. The words of Moses revealed that Pharaoh had let the people go—when the Lord had delivered the children of Israel from the land of Egypt—the Lord already had a specific route and course for them to travel. In essence, even before the children of Israel crossed over the border of the land of Egypt, the Lord already had their journey set forth. When the children of Israel emerged from the land of Egypt, they didn’t emerge from the land without a very specific course which was divinely orchestrated and ordained by the Lord of hosts. What’s more, is the fact that Moses records how “God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines—words which reveal that they had absolutely no control, nor any say over the course of their journey once removed and brought forth from the land of Egypt. When the children of Israel emerged from the land of Egypt they emerged being delivered by a God they really didn’t understand, and by a God they didn’t even really know. When the children of Israel emerged from the children of Israel they were essentially as the blind being led by an unseen and invisible force that would lead them through the wilderness.

 The more I consider the journey of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, the more I can’t help but think how their journey was one that lacked any semblance of comfort and familiarity. Not only had they known only the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of the land of Egypt for more than four-hundred years, but they were also being brought forth by a God who was vastly different than any of the gods of Egypt they undoubtedly encountered and experienced. How absolutely incredible it is that when the children of Israel emerged from the land of Egypt they did so following a God whom they really didn’t understand, recognize or know. When they began their journey through the wilderness they even followed strange signs and phenomenons, as the Lord led them through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. I can’t help but see the tremendous amount of discomfort and perhaps even the tremendous amount of anxiety and nervousness the children of Israel experienced as they were delivered from Egypt, but had absolutely no clue where they were going. When the Lord delivered the children of Israel from the land of Egypt they had absolutely no clue where the land of Canaan was, nor was there any among them who had ever been to the land of Canaan. A GENERATION THAT ONLY KNOWS THE SLAVERY OF EGYPT! A GENERATION THAT KNOWS ONLY THE WANDERING OF THE WILDERNESS! A GENERATION THAT KNOWS THE CONQUEST OF THE PROMISED LAND! There was a generation that only knew the land of Egypt, and there was a generation that knew the slavery of Egypt, as well as the wandering in the wilderness. The generation that emerged from the land of Egypt knew the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of Egypt, but also knew the wandering of the wilderness. What’s so incredibly interesting is that the wandering the children of Israel experienced in the wilderness was neither the plan, nor the purpose, nor the will of the Lord of hosts. When the Lord delivered the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, He sought to bring them into the desert to reveal and manifest Himself unto them, and then to bring them into the land of Canaan where they would take possession of and inherit the land which was promised them. WHEN A JOURNEY TURNS INTO WANDERING! The account of the children of Israel in the wilderness is actually quite tragic, for through their time in the wilderness we learn that it is absolutely possible for a journey to turn into and be transformed into wandering. What an incredibly tragic reality it is when a journey is actually transformed into wandering—something the Lord never intended on taking place. The Lord never intended on delivering the children of Israel so they could wander through the wilderness for forty years. It was their stubbornness, their rebellion and their transgression that transformed their journey into wandering.

 I can’t help but wonder how many men and women right now are living in and experiencing this very same reality. The Lord has delivered them from the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of Egypt, and longed to bring them into the land of Canaan, yet instead of experiencing a journey through the wilderness, they have experienced a wandering in the wilderness. THE PATH FROM JOURNEYING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS TO WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS! The wilderness was never intended on being the home and destination for those who were delivered from the slavery and oppression of the land of Egypt, yet that is precisely what happened, as an entire generation dwelt forty years in the wilderness. When the Lord delivered the children of Israel from their slavery, their bondage and their oppression in the land of Egypt, He had every intention of bringing through the wilderness rather than them dwelling in and dying in the wilderness. DWELLING IN AND DYING IN THE WILDERNESS! The children of Israel were created and intended to journey through the wilderness, as the wilderness was never intended on being their home, nor their final destination. Their journey through the wilderness, however, was transformed into a habitation and place of dwelling, as the children of Israel were resigned and confined to wandering in the wilderness for forty years. How incredibly tragic it is that an eleven day journey through the wilderness would eventually become a forty year wandering in the wilderness. Oh, there are countless men and women right now in this generation who have found themselves in the place of dwelling in the wilderness rather than passing through the wilderness. The Lord delivered you from the slavery and bondage of sin, and the Lord was going to lead you through the wilderness, yet somewhere along the way you moved from the place of journeying and passing through the wilderness to wandering in the wilderness. THE LORD NEVER INTENDED ON LEADING YOU IN THE WILDERNESS! When the Lord delivered you from the slavery, the bondage and the oppression of sin, His objective was to lead you to Himself at the mountain of revelation, and then lead you into the land of Promise and inheritance. The wilderness was never intended on being your home, yet through your rebellion, through your stubbornness, through your stiff-neckedness, through your hard-heartedness, through your doubt and unbelief you have transformed a journey through the wilderness into a wandering in the wilderness. How many men and women right now aren’t on the original path the Lord ordained and orchestrated for their lives?

 Moses records how “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…but God led the people about [around].” WHEN LEADS YOU ABOUT RATHER THAN LEAD YOU THROUGH! The Lord could have very easily led the children of Israel through the land of the Philsitines, yet instead of leading them through the land of the Philistines, He led them about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. THROUGH THE WAY OF THE WILDERNESS. Notice that even when speaking of the wilderness, Moses speaks of “through the way of the wilderness,” thus suggesting and revealing that the wilderness was only meant and intended on being a way which the children of Israel passed through rather than dwelling and remaining in the midst of it. The Lord could have led the children of Israel “through the way of the land of the Philistines,” yet instead of leading them “through the way of the Philistines,” He led them “through the way of the wilderness.” WHEN THE LORD LEADS HIS PEOPLE THROUGH THE WAY OF WILDERNESS RATHER THAN THROUGH THE WAY OF WAR! When the Lord delivered the children of Israel from their slavery, their bondage and their oppression in the land of Egypt, He didn’t led them through the way of war and warfare, but instead led them through the way of the wilderness. I can’t help but be reminded of the words of the apostle Paul which help drive this reality home from a spiritual perspective.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleaded men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals, in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold before God, I lie not. Afterward I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:6-22).

When the apostle Paul encountered the risen and exalted Christ on the road to Damascus, he didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood, but instead went into the desert where he encountered the presence and person of Christ in a way that would forever and eternally change and transform His life. This is closely related to the children of Israel, for when the children of Israel were delivered from their slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt, they didn’t immediately enter into the land of the Philistines—to essentially “confer” with flesh and blood—but were instead led into the wilderness where they too would encounter the God who had delivered them out of their slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt. The Lord deliberately refrained from leading the children of Israel through the land of the Philistines, for He sought to lead them into the wilderness where instead of encountering war, they would encounter the presence of the God who had delivered them from the land of Egypt. THE GOD WHO LEADS US TO HIMSELF RATHER THAN IMMEDIATELY LEADING US INTO WAR! The words of Moses reveal that the. Lord did not want to lead the children of Israel through the way of war and warfare, but rather through the way of the wilderness. The Lord desired the first encounter and experience of the children of Israel to be His presence upon and atop the mountain of God in the wilderness, and then from that place of revelation entering into the land of Canaan. The Lord sought to transition the children of Israel from the place of slavery to the place of revelation, and then from the place of revelation to the place of inheritance. The dilemma occurred when the children of Israel grew stubborn and rebellious in between the place of revelation and inheritance. I would dare say that there are a number of men and women who get caught up in between the place of revelation and inheritance—between the place of worship and warfare. Warfare would indeed come—especially as the children of Israel would defeat Og of Bashan and Sihon on the eastern side of the Jordan River in the land of Moab. Warfare would reach its culmination and climax in the land of Canaan, as the children of Israel would be required to and responsible for driving out the nations and inhabitants of the land. I find it absolutely incredible that the Lord didn’t even lead the children of Israel from the place of slavery to inheritance, for what good would it have been to lead people from slavery to inheritance without knowing the God who delivered them from their slavery and would lead them into the land of promise. When the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River and entered into the land of Canaan to engage the enemies and adversaries within it, they would do so from the place of revelation and worship, as they encountered the Lord at the mountain in the wilderness, and had spent forty years worshipping the Lord at His holy altar in the Tabernacle of Moses. There are far too many men and women who believe they can immediately transition from the place of slavery to inheritance, yet they don’t understand that they need to come to the mountain of revelation before entering into the inheritance.

The prophet Isaiah speaks of bringing the blind by a way that they knew not, and of leading them in paths that they have not known, and I can’t help but see something else in direct connection to this. THE PATH BENEATH THE WATERS OF THE RED SEA! THE PATH BENEATH THE WATERS OF THE JORDAN RIVER! I have written before, and I believe that there was a path that was already ordained and orchestrated by the Lord of hosts beneath the waters of the Red Sea—a path which they neither saw with their eyes, nor even knew was there. When the children of Israel came to the banks of the Red Sea, they had no idea that there was a path that lie beneath the waters of the Red Sea. When the Lord delivered the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, He knew the path that lie beneath the waters, and deliberately and intentionally brought the children of Israel to the Red Sea, for He saw the path that lie beneath the waters. THE GOD WHO SEES THE PATH BENEATH THE WATERS! How absolutely incredible it is that the Lord not only saw the path beneath the waters of the Red Sea, but He also saw the path beneath and through the waters of the Jordan River. The Lord did indeed lead the children of Israel “by a way that they knew not,” and even “ in paths that they had not known.” It made absolutely no sense for the children of Israel to pass through the waters of the Red Sea on dry ground, yet that is exactly what happened when the Lord caused a strong wind to blow throughout the night separating the waters from each other. SEPARATING THE WATERS TO REVEAL THE PATH. Oh, I can’t help but believe that there are a number of men and women who are in a place right now where they are waiting for the Lord to separate the waters in order for the path to be revealed. What’s more, is that the path cannot and will not be revealed without and until the waters are separated from each other and caused to stand up as a heap on either side. Dear brother, dear sister—are you in this place right now? Are you in the place right now where you are waiting for the waters of the sea to be separated in order that the path might be revealed? Are you in the place right now where you are waiting for the waters to be separated in order that the might be be shown and made manifest unto you? There are men and women right now whom the Lord is calling to stretch forth the staff that is in their hand in order the waters might be separated, and as the waters are separated, the path is revealed before you. There are men and women right now whom the Lord is calling to step and enter into the waters of the Jordan River in order that the waters might again be separated and the path revealed. THE LORD WHO LEADS US BY A WAY WE KNOW NOT AND IN PATHS WE HAVE NOT KNOWN!

I find it absolutely incredible that the Lord had a path already ordained for the children of Israel through the waters of the Red Sea in order to bring them into the wilderness, and had a path already ordained through the waters of the Jordan River to bring them into the land of Canaan. WAITING FOR THE LORD TO PART THE WATERS! WAITING FOR THE LORD TO SEPARATE THE WATERS! There are many right now whom the Lord is bringing into a divine season of waters parting and being separated, as the Lord reveals unto them a path they neither understood, nor knew was even present before them. When the children of Israel reached the waters of the Red Sea, they had absolutely no clue that the path of their journey led through the waters of the Red Sea. The path of their salvation from the hand of their enemies led through the waters of the Red Sea, and the waters of their salvation would be the waters of the destruction of their enemies. THE GOD WHO DESTROYS OUR ADVERSARIES THROUGH THE PATH HE ORDAINED FOR US! The waters of the Red Sea which were separated by the Lord served as a path for the children of Israel, yet it also served as the instrument of destruction and devastation upon their enemies and adversaries. Beloved, we must get and understand this, for if and when we do, it can and will dramatically alter our perspective regarding the journey we are on. I am finding myself asking the Lord to part and separate the waters that are before me, the waters that are before you, the waters that are before the saints of God in this generation in order that the path beneath the waters might be revealed. I am praying for spiritual eyes and discernment to be able to see and recognize the path that lies beneath the waters of the Red Sea, and beneath the waters of the Jordan River. What’s more, is that I am convinced that there are parts of our path that are deliberately and intentionally hidden and concealed in order that trust and confidence might be developed within us—within the very depths and core of our being. There are parts of our path that are intentionally concealed from plain view in order that we might “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” THE GOD WHO DELIBERATELY CONCEALS PORTIONS OF THE PATH WE ARE ON. Not only did the Lord not lead the children of Israel through the way of the Philistines, but the Lord also didn’t reveal to the children of Israel that when they came to the Red Sea the path before them would lead straight through the waters of that sea. Oh, we must get this, for there are times when we have been incredibly frustrated because we have not seen the path which the Lord has hidden and concealed beneath the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan River. The Lord deliberately and intentionally hides and conceals the path of our journey beneath the waters in order that He might make darkness as light before us, and crooked things straight. Tell me dear brother, dear sister—do you trust in the Lord that He has ordained and orchestrated the path you are presently on? Do you trust in the Lord that He has ordained the path and journey He has set you upon, and that He knows the best course to the inheritance that is before you? Oh that we would read these words and allow a deep confidence and trust to be developed within the very core of our being—within the very depths of our heart and spirit. THE GOD OF THE PATH BENEATH THE WATERS! Beloved, do not be afraid of the waters—whether they be the waters of the Red Sea or the waters of the Jordan River. Beloved, do not be afraid of the waters—whether the enemy and adversary is behind you pursuing you, or whether the enemy is before you on the other side of the river. Let us allow the very Spirit of the Lord to develop the deep and abiding trust and confidence that is needed to follow the path the Lord has set before us—even a path that leads straight through the waters which are before us.

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