When you find yourself facing a dilemma, you feel like you’re in a dead-end situation—that is, you’re between a rock and a hard place. The Israelites wound up in a dilemma when they found themselves between the Red Sea and an Egyptian army. In this lesson on one of the most noted stories in Israel’s history, experience the kind of divine encounter with God that happens in the midst of a dilemma.

and jesus says this is the amen talking

this is the one who’s not going to tell

you what you want to hear i’ma tell you

like it really

is god wants you to fear him more than

you fear what’s wrong

he wants your fear of him to be greater

than your fear

of your problem truth is god’s view on

any subject matter

if there is no truth there can be no

legitimate unity

i’m here to tell you jesus saw satan had

you cage

but on the cross he has now opened the

cage door

so that he who the son sets free is free


today i want to look at an encounter

with god’s

power and this encounter with god’s

power comes in the context

of a dilemma so

a dilemma is when you’re in a no-win

situation anybody here ever been in that


it’s no win i mean any direction that

you look in

is a lose-lose you’re in a dilemma

the most noted story in

israel’s history the crossing of the red


which was its biggest celebrated miracle

happened when they were simultaneously

in a dilemma but what i want you to

catch today

is that they had their divine encounter

with god’s problem

in the context of a dilemma

so i want to prepare you today for an

encounter with god

but i also want to prepare you for a


that provides the context for that


now the background to this

is very clear

moses has come through the 12 plagues

the 10 plagues and he’s

now leading the children of israel out


egypt pharaoh has responded now finally

to moses’s call to let my people go

and so the people now are on their way

out from slavery to freedom

they’re excited they’re looking forward

they’ve been told that there’s this

promised land this purpose of god that

god is going to take them to

and things are looking rosy

as they leave

on their way out it says in verse 17 of

chapter 13

that god did not leave them by way of

the land of the philistines

even though it was near

i want you to catch verse 18. hence god

led them so watch this

their dilemma is going to come about

when god is leading them

their dilemma is going to happen when

they’re in

the will of god their dilemma is going

to occur

when they’re being obedient because it


god was leading them

not only was god leading them into what

would be a dilemma

it says god led them the long way around

he did not lead them in the short


not only that

but god was going before them verse 21

of chapter 13 says in a pillar of cloud

by day and

a pillar of fire by night he’s

walking with them in every step of the


and when they are doing this zigzag

through the wilderness

it says in chapter 14 pharaoh will say

to the sons of israel verse 3

they are wandering aimlessly in the land

and the wilderness has shut them in

and the wilderness will shut them in

so when he says and the wilderness shall

shut them in

they’re going to be in a no-win

situation that they can’t get out of

without coming back toward us

and it says and god was leading them

he was leading them into a cul-de-sac

or what you and i would call a trap

see a lot of us figure god wouldn’t do


oh god doesn’t do that and the reason


does that is because only in those

contexts will you see that he’s god

because the one thing about a dilemma is

you can’t get out of it

the one thing about a dilemma is you

don’t see an exit

and every direction you look in is

a trap when god

is ready to move you to a new spiritual

experience with him

he will regularly do it in the midst of

a contradiction

and a conflict and that is their


verse 4 says of chapter 14 thus i will


pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after



to harden the heart means to make you

more rebellious than you already were

to harden the heart means to make you

meaner than you already were

to harden the heart is to make you worse

than you already were i think the verse

says and

god harden pharaoh’s heart

because when god is ready to give you

a new experience with him he will allow

you to be put

into a situation that only he can get

you out of

when god is ready to make this move

doesn’t matter who you know what contact

you have

how much money you you possess or where

you live or the car you drive

when god is ready to give you a new

experience with him

he will regularly trap you

where you are verse 8 of chapter

14 says the lord hardened the heart

of pharaoh king of egypt and he chased


the sons of israel they finally get out


egypt they’ve been praying to get out of


he lets him out of egypt then he hardens

pharaoh’s heart to come after him

as pharaoh junior verse 10 the sons of

israel looked and behold the egyptians

were marching after them

and they became scared

it says they were very frightened and so

the sons of israel cried out

to the lord

water here pharaoh and his chariots here

and they’re closing in on the jews and

so they are

terrified so they do what many

christians do

they cry out to god help


while simultaneously complaining to man

verse 11 they said to moses is it

because there were no graves in egypt

that you have taken us away to die in

the wilderness

why have you dealt with us in this way

bringing us out of egypt is this not the


that we spoke to you in egypt saying

leave us alone

that we may serve the egyptians for it

would have been better for us to serve

the egyptians than to die in the


so the conflict that they are in the red


and the egyptians produces a spiritual

conflict within them

because on the one hand it says they

cried out on the god

but then on the other hand it says they

complained to moses

so i’m calling on god but i’m blaming


not only that but i’m confused

because the dilemma will confuse you

they said did not we tell you leave us


we were happy being a slave in them corn

fields we were

we were happy being a slave picking that

cotton we were we were we were just

we were just swing low sweet chariots we

were just

happy slaves

never mind that they had been crying out

to god all the time

for god to get them out of here


i’m sure you would agree with me that

this year has been very challenging

and the urban alternative has been being


with people with questions as we faced

one crisis on top of another crisis on

top of another crisis

all over the nation and from or even

around the world

people are asking what does god have to

say about what we’re

facing and dealing with well we believe

that god

does have answers and that his word is


and so we’ve been seeking to provide

that through expanding

our ministry not only on radio

and television but online and every

mechanism possible

because god has used this crisis to open

up a door of opportunity

your generous support for us will allow

us to

keep giving divine answers for our human


never has there been a greater

opportunity for god’s word

to penetrate the lives the families

the churches and even the communities

of people who are desperate for a word

from heaven

and we’re committed to giving that word

would you help us

in this year very strong and launch into

the new year stronger than ever through

your generous year in contribution

we’ve never needed it more and the world

has never needed to hear from god

more we’re going to give that word to

the world

with your help thank you for your


and god bless you

so let me give you something you must do

when you’re caught

in a dilemma and god himself is

confusing you

you must appeal to someone if you cannot

appeal to yourself

who has a spiritual perspective

see if you confuse and you only talking


other confused people

who do not share a proper view

of god then all you’re going to do is


the frustration of your dilemma if

god has allowed you to be there because


in the will of god even though you are


then god alone has to give you


and so even though they were complaining

about moses

only moses could give them the proper


because moses was in touch with god so

moses said to the people because they’re

crying out to god and complaining

at the same time so moses says to the


do not fear stand by

and see the salvation of the lord

so he brings in a spiritual perspective

to their human dilemma

which he will accomplish for you the


whom you have seen today you will never

see them


again the lord will fight for you

while you are silent

not while you are talking

what he is referring to was the

complaining they were doing

not the crying out to god but the


god will fight for you while you keep


they were now in the position of

submitting the spiritual authority

you must have spiritual authority in

your life

spiritual people to whom you can appeal

when you don’t have spiritual answers


and all you can see are the


ah verse 15 then the lord said to moe

the lord said to moses

why are you crying out to me

tell the sons of israel

to go forward he says to moses

why are you crying out to me

tell israel to go forward

now the problem with that verse

is there’s nothing stated about moses

crying out to him

there’s no statement about moses crying

is that the people cried out

but then god turns to moses and says why


you crying out

says what i want you to do is tell

people now it’s time to move

tell them to move forward now here is

a principle he had just said

stand still do nothing

but now he gets another message that

says tell a man to go forward

so here it is when god puts you in a


and there is nothing that you

can do or should do you do

nothing when god hasn’t given you

something to do that means he

there is not something he wants you to

do yet

but now he tells them to move forward

it says by faith they cross the red sea

remember faith is in your feet not in

your feelings

hebrews 11 29 says they did it by faith

because faith often has to operate

when fear is present

okay faith does not automatically

eradicate fear but

faith when it is operating

overrides fear because fear immobilizes

faith moves even when you are

fearful but when he gives you something

to do

you move he says tell the people to move

and so the people move

lift up your staff he lifts up the rod

now called the rod of god

he says i will again this word in verse

17 harden

the heart of the egyptians i’m gonna

make them harder

i’m gonna make them hate you more i’m

gonna make them come after you

worse than before

so that they will go in after them and i

will be honored through pharaoh and his


through his chariots and his horsemen

so moses stretches out his hand with the

rod verse 21

and the lord swept the sea back by a

strong wind

all night and turned the sea into dry


so the waters were divided the sons of

israel went through

verse 23 then the egyptians took up


to see a sea open up

the water wall on both sides

this whole army of almost two million


walking through and you go in there

after them you got to be crazy

but they were made crazy by god

hardening their heart

so god may be hardening the heart of

your coworker

making them treat you bad worse

he may be hardening the heart of your


making him treat you worse or that


in your life or that circumstance see

that’s why you got to be in the will

of god because when he makes it worse

he’s using it

i will harden pharaoh’s heart and the

egyptians will come

after you it says in verse 31

when israel saw say saul

see not they heard they saw when israel

saw the great power which the lord had

used against the egyptians

the people feared the lord and they

believed in the lord

and in his servant moses

why does god put you in a dilemma

when you’re in his will so you can see


it says when they saw the power of the


they encountered god’s power

they said you know what those people

were saying they said take us back to


you know what god was trying to do he

was trying to deliver them from

something in their past

egypt was their past but you can get so

used to yesterday

that when the day goes bad on you you

want to go back

he says i’ma deliver you from yesterday

because i have a different tomorrow but

for me to deliver you from yesterday

to take you to a different tomorrow i’m

going to create confusion today

so i want you to look at your dilemma

that you’re either in

or that you will face differently

if you’re not walking by faith but only

walking by sight

begin to walk by faith and no longer

live a life of complaining

acknowledging the reality but not

blaming man for something god has done

because you now have this bigger view of


who wants to show you his power so that

he can blow your mind in a catch 22.

i want to conclude my time with telling


one of my dilemma moments we were


at a school in the early days of our


the school board said we could no longer

meet there we would have to

in a couple of weeks find another place

we were in a catch-22 we were in a

dilemma what would we tell the people

we went back to the school board and

asked them for an extension of time

they said they do not think we can get

it because there were too many board


with this whole thing of church and

state that were against

the church meeting in a school

but then they said but we will have a

final official vote but

the person who we talked to said let me

tell you now there are too many people

against you

all we did was call on god to intervene

and to do

something that was out of our hands

it was now the day of the vote and we


the votes were against us we’ve been

told that by an

insider the meeting was supposed to

happen at a certain time

but the time went on and on and on and i

guess we’re sitting out there

close to two hours when it should have

been finished in 30 minutes

waiting for a decision

finally a lady comes out of the meeting

she says i am sorry it’s taken so long

but two of our board members are missing

they have not yet gotten to the meeting

so we tried to wait for them so we could

have a

full council vote but they have not

showed up

and we have decided to go ahead with the


we went ahead with the vote and by one


you have gotten approval to stay in the


by one vote when she finished coming out

the two who were missing rushed in

the two were missing rushed in but the

vote had already been taken

oh but that’s not the good part of the

story the good part of the story is

why they were late these two decided to

ride together

when they decided to ride together they


off of poke and 67 and there was an

accident at the light the accident after


held up traffic for almost two hours

where the traffic could not move so

within that two hours the vote was taken

so by the time the traffic got cleared


and they rushed in it was too late

because god had already set up a block


the story in exodus chapter 18

says that the cloud and the pillar of


went from in front of the jews and went

to the back of the jews

to create a block so that pharaoh’s army

could not get to them

until they crossed over so what god did

was he took the angel of the lord and he

left from in front of old cliff

he went to the back of old cliff he went

down to poke

and 67 allowed an accident to occur

at just the right time for just the

right amount of cars

in order to block what god’s purpose was

he created a dilemma now the good news

of that for you

is that i have never forgotten it so


now we run into a dilemma i remember

what happened at the end

of the 1970s anytime we run into a


i remember that god is the same


today and forever i remember to tell you

let’s move forward when god says move

even though we don’t see how it’s going

to work out cause the god

who can create an accident at just the

right time

can do whatever he decides to do in the


in our lives as long as we are in the


of his will come on and praise him


because he’s worthy because he wants you

to see him

for yourself in the dilemma

of your life

the power of god is often most

clearly seen in the contradictions of


when you’re caught between a rock and a


when you find yourself stuck out on a


when you find yourself up a creek

without a paddle

when in every direction you look

you feel trapped it is in the midst

of that reality that god’s power is most

clearly visible

now to be sure his power is always there

it’s just not always

seen until sometimes he allows things to

get so

out of hand that his power is your

only option so when life crushes in on


when hopelessness seems to rain and

there is no way out

when you look north and

south and east and west

and all you see is calamity closing in

on you

then in a unique and special way

god often breaks through and lets you

know he alone

is your answer that’s why job could say

i looked for him and couldn’t find him

in every direction i looked

he was invisible to me

but then he remembered the power of god

and he says when i get through this

when i get through this travail

i’m going to know how real god is

so i don’t know where you need god’s

power right now

i do know his power is available no

matter how deep the pit

you find yourself in don’t give up

look up his power is still there