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Sermon: When Our Faith Is Tested, Exodus 14

Listen to this sermon: 05132012Exo14NathanHouse

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When our Faith is Tested

Exodus 14- The Crossing of the Red Sea

  1. Verses 1-4- God’s plan
    1. Pharaoh would misread God’s guidance (vs 3)
      1. He would view their route as foolish– it would have made no sense to him.
      2. To Pharaoh, the route that the Israelites were taking would not have made any sense; it would seem like the people were lost, wandering aimlessly in the land… While this strategy seems strange, it suited the Lord’s purpose: It baited the trap in which He would catch Pharaoh’s army so that He might free Israel and show His power”. Coy Roper
      3. He likely believe they made a mistake
      4. “What would give him the sense that suddenly he could gain victory over the Israelites when their God had just shown total superiority to him and his gods? The answer requires appreciating Egyptian religion in its ancient Near Eastern context. To all the ancients (except those Israelites who were beginning to understand the only true God) the gods and goddesses that controlled the world were arbitrary and capricious, quick to change their actions and attitudes, constantly vying with one another for power, not omnipresent but manifesting themselves at given locations and then leaving those locations unpredictably
      5. .” Stuart
      6. Does the world today view God’s guidance as foolish?
      7. Do we as Christians ever misread God’s guidance?
    2. This “foolish path” would lead to the destruction of evil, and the glory of God
      1. I will harden”
      2. “He will purse”
      3. “I will get glory”
      4. “the Egyptians shall know”!
      5. We will see the method he chooses later in the text
  2. Verses 5-9-Pharaoh’s pursuit
    1. A large and frightening scene
      1. 600 Chosen chariots (v 7)
      2. ALL the other chariots with their “officer” (v 7)
        1. This phrase used here likely is not a ranking of position but a number indicating the 3rd man of the crew- thus indicating that each chariot likely had 3 soldiers on board: a driver, a shield bearer and a warrior
      3. ALL Pharaoh’s horses (v 9)
      4. His army and Pharaoh himself (v 9, 10)
  3. Verses 10-14- Israel’s fear. God’s Promise
    1. When Israel saw, they feared- v 10 
      1. They “cried out to the LORD”
      2. Should they have feared?
      3. Should they have sought God in this time?
    2. When they feared they complained- v 11-12
      1. Why had they not remembered God’s deliverance just days/weeks before? His signs over the Egyptian gods?
      2. If God’s people had thought about all that He had done, they surely would have trusted Him to protect them in their present situation, just has He had previously met their needs.” Roper
        1. Can we see from this one of the great benefits of being in God’s word regularly? It reminds us of God’s promises and his great deliverance.
    3. Moses told them of God’s promise – v 13-14
      1. He will work FOR YOU
      2. You will never see the Egyptians again
      3. The Lord will fight FOR YOU
      4. YOU have to just be silent
        1. Was this indicating silence from complaints? Probably not.
        2. This reminder that the Lord will fight for you is a common theme in the OT. Do we need to remember this sometimes in our own lives?
  4. Verses 15-18- God’s Deliverance Promised again
    1. The first promise of deliverance in vs 4 is slightly vague.
      1. He did not tell Moses the details – but Moses believed
    2. The second promise here gives more details
      1. Do we need to wait for God to give us the details before we believe?
    3. “Go forward” could have seemed a ridiculous command. But Moses trusted in God. Since nothing is impossible with God (Matt 19:26; Luke 1:37), what they had not been able to imagine as a direction in which to flee was now their escape route.
    4. ” Stuart
      1. How awesome that we have a God who saves us, provides for us and answers our prayers in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine!
  5. Verses 19-20- God’s presence shields his people
    1. It “stood” behind them. 
      1. I love that reading. What a powerful image of the angel of God (God – vs 24; also Ex 3:2) standing behind them.
  6. Verses 21-25- Waiting upon the Lord’s deliverance
    1. They had to wait all night (v 21)
    2. Then the LORD divided (v 21)
    3. Note on Vs 22: “The term used for “wall” here, ḥōmāh, connotes a very large wall—not a small stone wall or retaining wall but always a massively large (usually a city) wall, towering above the Israelites, who marched on dry land with walls of water on either side of them.
    4. The LORD caused panic (v 24)
    5. The LORD clogged the wheels (v 25)
    6. The Egyptians knew and saw the LORD’s hand (v 25)
    7. Israel just needed to be silent (vs 14)
  7. Verses 26-29- The destruction of the enemies
    1. How should God’s handling of his children’s enemies effect you?
    2. The “LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea.”
    3. not one of them remained” (v 28)
    4. “But the people of Israel…” (v 29)
      1. God destroys the enemies of his people
      2. BUT delivers his children
  8. Verses 30-31- Salvation from the LORD
    1. The LORD saved
    2. Israel saw
      1. The defeat of their enemies
      2. The great power of the LORD
    3. So the people feared – compare with verse 10
    4. So the people believed
  9. So was this path foolish?
    1. How often we misread God’s path in our life. It seems as if there is no way to go. Then God parts the Red Sea in our lives. Moves the obstacles. Clears the paths.
    2. Why?
    3. So that we can see his deliverance
      1. When you are faced with what seems an insurmountable obstacle and God removes it His deliverance is shown more clearly.
    4. So that we can believe in his great power
      1. Verse 31 says “Israel’s saw the great power”
        1. God allows these obstacles so that He can be glorified
    5. So that we can stand on his great promises
      1. When we are faced with these obstacles and turn to God in prayer, and he answers those prayers, then we can remember his promises of deliverance and salvation and know that His promises are true.
    6. Is there a sea in front of us? God can open the sea? Is there a wall in front of us? God can help us tear down that wall. Have we encountered a closed door? God can open that door… the solution to the testing of our faith is simply to “keep the faith,” to keep doing what the Lord would have us to do.” Roper
  10. God’s choice of deliverance
    1. God delivered and saved through the water.
    2. He still chooses to deliver us and save us that way.
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