Detours, Dead Ends, and Dry Holes

Exodus 13:17-18

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Exodus 13:17-18

Exodus 13:18 says, “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.” As God leads us through life, we may find ourselves on back roads, dead-end alleys, or in dry places. What should we do when we face detours, dead ends, and dry holes?

First, remember the discipline of detours.

This passage clarifies God led His people on a divine detour.

Further hardship would have met the Israelites if they had gone the shortest route.

Sometimes, we aren’t ready for the blessings God has in store for us. If we are circling the wilderness, or feel “out” of the will of God, Adrian Rogers advises: “The important thing is not that you know; the important thing is that God knows and that you follow Him.”

This passage also identifies the dilemma of dead ends.

For the Israelites, the road ended at the vast Red Sea, with Pharaoh’s army closing in on them. They were between the sword and the sea; there was no way out. But God knew exactly what He was doing. God put them in this dead end to use their seemingly impossible circumstance to bring judgment on Pharaoh.

When we come up against dead ends, we can remember: our place of desperation is an opportunity of dependency upon Him.

There are four things to do when we come to a dead end:

  • fear not,
  • stand still,
  • watch God work before you,
  • and then go forward.

Finally, this passage recognizes the disappointment of dry holes.

This is the test of our faithfulness. The Israelites failed this test miserably. Merely three days after God miraculously parted the Red Sea, they murmured in doubt, which is an aggressive sin. There was no need for them to murmur, for their provision was in front of them. God already knew what He was going to do.

God knows the way through the wilderness, all we have to do is follow.

Apply it to your life

Are you following God, yet facing a detour, a dead end, or a dry hole? Know that God hasn't forsaken you; He is proving you. Don't complain or murmur; right over the hill, God’s oasis is waiting. You may not see it, but God can see it.