This morning I was thinking back over the sermons in Exodus that we have been hearing and thought that there were some really good applications from those sermons related to money. Here are my thoughts.
In Exodus 14 the people of Israel are trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. The situation looked hopeless. The only choices the Israelites saw were to be slaughtered by Pharaoh’s army, surrender and return as slaves, or drown themselves trying to swim across the Red Sea. You might be in a financial situation that looks hopeless. You don’t see any way that things could get better and you are tempted to quit trying. And like the Red Sea was a test for the Israelites, your finances are a test for you. Will you grumble because your human eyes can’t see a way out of the trap you are in, or will you lift up your eyes to the One who is sovereign over all things and trust Him to show you the path that you need to walk.
Last week Aaron challenged us to get wisdom from the story of Moses and Jethro. And we definitely need wisdom to deal well with money. Every day you are enticed by ads that appeal to your flesh, trying to get you to spend money on a certain product or service. It takes great wisdom to resist the temptations to spend money that are foolish. They may not be bad things, but they are just not wise. Maybe it isn’t wise because you can’t afford it. Maybe it isn’t wise because it will waste your time. These and other scenarios remind us that it is important to heed the exhortation to get wisdom in handling money. So, read what the Bible says about money. Talk with someone who can help you figure out your financial situation and help you make a plan to head the right direction. And remember that the path of wisdom is usually not the easy path. We must not only hear wisdom, we also need to follow it.
Finally, you might be in a situation like the Israelites are in after getting through the Red Sea. You are seeing God’s provision. You are seeing the blessing of living on less than you earn. And like the Israelites you are praising God for the blessings that He has given you. The decisions you are making are things like: How much should I save? How much should I give? If this is you, first of all recognize that God is blessing you. Most likely you have worked hard and at some point made sacrifices in order to get your finances to this point. But God is your provider and He has allowed you to be in the place you are in today. So, do what the Israelites did. Praise God! Sing of God’s grace in your life, in all areas, not just your finances, but do give thanks and praise to God for how He has provided for you. And remember that much is required of him to whom much is given and ask for wisdom to use what God has given to you in a way that honors Him.
All of our financial decisions should be made as we look through the lens of God’s ultimate power and unconditional love. We should have no doubts that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us because He showed that love by sending His own Son to die for us. And the historical accounts we have been hearing about in Exodus show us that there is no power greater than the one who can bring the greatest nation on earth at the time to its knees and then gain the final victory over them by creating a road for His people through the Red Sea. No matter what your financial situation is right now, if your faith is in Jesus, you should rest in what He has done for you and in the confident hope that you will be with him forever. And know that God has not put you in a hopeless situation. It may take a lot of time, hard work, and humility. There will be some tough decisions to make. And while you might not get rich, and you will not have everything you want in this life, I am confident that God will use your finances to complete the work that He has started in you as He prepares His Church to be reunited with Him.