Based on Biblical Text Exodus 14:10
And 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.
The late Reverend James Cleveland recorded a song that has served as a theme down through the years for those facing trials, tribulation and all the problems life can bring. For those who, from time to time have felt like giving up, the title of the song and source of inspiration is “No Ways Tired.”
The words go something like:
I don’t feel no ways tired, I’ve come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me. I’ve come too far to turn around.
Those are very powerful words. Words that are as significant today as they were when Moses led the children out of Egypt.
Moses led his people out of bondage, and they found themselves in the desert. They saw Pharaoh and his army closing in on them, and they noticed that they were seemingly trapped between Pharaoh and the Red Sea. When they found that there was no food to eat and no water to drink, they challenged Moses. Moses, why did you bring us all this way to die? Why did you bring us out here, weren’t there enough graves in Egypt? Couldn’t we just as well have died there?
I was not among them, however, I believe Moses, in the midst of all the whining and moaning, admonished them to put an end to their senseless complaining. Moses let the people know that he had talked to God. I can hear Moses tell them I’ve talked to God and I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. We’ve come too far to turn around.
We find in our text that God intervened right on time. Moses listened to God’s direction. Moses was obedient when he received the word from the Lord and God opened up the Red Sea allowing his people to cross on to dry land.
Moses was strong in faith. Through faith, he found determination and strength. Through his faith Moses found the where-with-all to go on just a little further. Moses found the courage to let the people know We’ve come too far to turn around.
Moses is a good example; however, he is not our only example. For years, African Americans have exhibited incredible courage and great strength. Folk who attempted to keep us in bondage were aware of our physical strength but grossly underestimated our mental and emotional strength. We have, however, proven just how incredibly strong we are both mentally and emotionally.
We have forgiven some of the most savage treatment heaped upon us. We have overcome the intentional separation of our families. We have rebounded in spite of the lies that have been told about us. We have demonstrated as a people that we are much more than merely physically strong.
Our physical strength was exploited. We toted and dug. We planted and harvested. Just about any physical labor done, we did. There has never been a dispute as to our physical dexterity. However, we were never given much credit for our intellect.
We found for years that as major sports leagues allowed us to be a part we were exploited for our physical strength, dexterity and athletic prowess. We were great runners, excellent receivers however never thought to be bright enough to handle the leadership positions.
We have demonstrated time and time again to the world that we are just as smart as we are athletic. Every sport known to mankind is now played at a much higher level, faster and is much more exciting as the world has witnessed the athleticism and game management skills of several great African American field generals.
Athletics is not the only arena that has allowed African Americans an opportunity to exhibit promise. In this land that for years denied us the right to vote we have witnessed the rise of African American Mayors, Congressmen and Congresswomen, Senators, and Governors. We have seen, in our lifetime an African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State and President of the United States. We have come too far to turn around.
As a people we have known the commitment of Martin Luther King, Jr. A powerful preaching man committed to do the will of the Lord. I can imagine Dr. King in conversation with God wondering why He saw fit to set him apart to advance the efforts against racism. But in our struggle when we became discouraged, afraid and wanted to know why, I can hear Martin saying, Listen to me, I’ve talked to God and I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. We’ve come too far to turn around.
Church, we have come too far in this business we call life. God has brought us from where we were to where we are. We have made significant gains. There have been successes among us and some noteworthy accomplishments between us. But there is still a ways to go. We have not made it completely to the other side but I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. We’ve come too far to turn around.
We can make to the other side but we’ve got to remain faithful. The Bible admonishes us to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His light. Through our faith we will find the where-with-all to do what is right. We will find the strength to carry on. Through our faith, we will muster up the courage to go on just a little farther. Through our faith, our working together, our struggling together and our standing together God will allow us to be truly free one day. We’ve come too far to turn around!
We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in His Holy Word and He has never failed us yet. We’ve come too far to turn around! Listen to me, I’ve talked to God and I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. I don’t feel no ways tired, we’ve come too far from where we started from. Nobody told us that the road would be easy. I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. We’ve come too far to turn around.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, February 9, 2014, is the Fifth Sunday after the Ephiphany.
Join our Worship Experience at 10:00 am.
Church School begins at 8:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
There is a Word from the Lord!
We will celebrate Founder’s Day. Our preacher will be The Right Reverend Dr. Richard Franklin Norris, the 116th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Presiding Prelate of the 7th Episcopal District.