Week 32: Exodus 14
Read Exodus 14:1-20
Now the nation comes to birth. One man, Abraham, was promised that he would become a mighty nation. Within the protective “womb” of Egypt, the people have multiplied. Now, accompanied by severe birth pangs of the plagues, this nation will be delivered into the wilderness through the Red Sea. Their born-again experience is very much like ours. Whatever was from before in their slavery will become ancient history. As a child is cast upon his mother’s breast, Israel will be birthed into the wilderness, depending upon God for every substance.
“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,” (1 Corinthians 10:1, NKJV)
There is so much Jesus in the whole of the Exodus story. He is richly found in the passing through the Red Sea. Consider the Pillar of cloud and fire that accompanied the delivered nation. Verse 19 tells us that it is the “Angel of God”. It is the same “Angel” which is Christ who met Moses at the fiery Bush. This cloud and fire, which is Christ, will accompany them on the whole journey ahead. (Exodus 23:20-23) See Christ in the pillar of cloud and fire: It shined on one side and was darkness on the other. One side gave warmth and light to show His people the way. The other side was ominously dark to confuse the enemies. See Christ standing between death and life: At birth, he divided Herod from Wise Men. As a grown man, He divided the multitudes. Even while teaching, some put faith in Him and others rejected him. As the Son of Man upon the cross, he divided two thieves. One trusted him and one cursed him. When he comes in glory, he will separate all the nations before Him as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. Christ is the Pillar of Cloud and covering for his people.
“He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light in the night.” (Psalm 105:39)
But for those without, there is only darkness and shame. Matthew 25:30
Read Exodus 13:20-14:5
There was a direct route to Canaan that did not run them into the Sea. “So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.” (Exodus 13:20, NKJV) From the edge of the wilderness it was just a hop, skip and a jump to Mount Horeb, the place where God called them to worship Him.
But God orders Moses to take the people into a route that hits a wall at the Red Sea.
Someone must have hollered out, “You’re going the wrong way.”
It isn’t the wrong way. God sometimes brings His people before an insurmountable obstacle because His design is to gain glory by overcoming the impossible and helping his people over or through it. See Christ here:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23, NKJV)
Pharaoh has a design to destroy Israel. But God has a purpose to destroy Pharaoh and to gain maximum glory through it. The hardness and pride of Pharaoh makes him think that Israel is ignorant, confused and powerless. He sees an easy prey. But it is he who will be the victim.
A note to Christians: We may be brought into places where we may be made to seem ignorant and embarrassed because of following Christ. This is the confounding way of the cross. But God will soon rectify the situation to His glory and show you great mercy in the process.
How foolish the disciples must have felt when the Savior walked right into an arrest and crucifixion. Was there a father who said, “I told you it was a foolish errand to follow this Jesus.”? Did and a disciple or two have clouds of doubt: “Did I make a wrong decision to leave my family and fishing business to follow Him?” “Did I waste the last three years of my life?” Did I go the wrong way? Resurrection Sunday soundly answered those criticisms and dulling uncertainties. The Via Dolorosa and its destination of the cross was exactly the path for Christ. It may have temporarily delighted his enemies, but it would forever defeat them.
Swallowed into earth’s dark womb
Death has triumphed that’s what they say
But try to hold Him in the tomb
The Son of life rose on the third day
After the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, Pharaoh regrets that he has let them go. He regretted that he was no longer able to use them for his kingdom. He already missed their labor and the pleasure of punishing them. Though he had repented, like many we have known, he repents of his repentance! Whether he thinks that he may recapture them for slavery or he thinks to levy some revenge on them, we do not know. We do know that he is aggravated and vengeful, roaring like a lion who misses his prey. The devil hates the liberty of God’s people. See Christ here: Christ cast out demons. Christ was and is a shockwave to the devil’s kingdom, robbing him of his most faithful resources.
After driving out a demon, listen to how Christ explains the impact that deliverance has upon the kingdom of darkness:
“When a strong man (Devil), fully armed (with arguments that make strongholds), guards his own palace (the life of an unconverted sinner), his goods are in peace (The sinner is living in a false peace, undisturbed). But when a stronger man than he comes upon him (Christ) and overcomes him (Binds him with superior strength and armor) , he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted (his arguments based on lies), and divides his spoils. (the newly saved man is distributed among many to benefit them) ” (Luke 11:21–22, NKJV)
And then Jesus said something about the seething regret of the devil: He will seek to re-inhabit that which he has lost:
““When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’” (Luke 11:24)
When Christ has delivered. The spirit can never return. , “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”” (Mark 9:25, NKJV)
Pharaoh, like Satan, is bold and brazen to snatch his prize; right up until the moment that he steps into the gap of God’s judgment!
Read Exodus 14:15-22
In the wake of the Israel’s grumbling and complaining, Moses has a word from the Lord:“Don’t be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” What God will do, He will do without man’s help. He alone has the power to save. Man cannot be truly rehabilitated, though he may offer many clinics, books and methods to try. Man must be regenerated, (made new) and that work is God’s alone. Titus 3:5 We can add nothing to this salvation. It is all Him!
Christ will see to it that the salvation is thorough:
“The Egyptians that you see today, you shall see again no more forever.” (13)
Salvation marks a day when you will never be the same again. The old way of life under the slavery of sin is broken by the grace of rebirth in Christ.
The Lord tells Moses to quit praying. We do not know what he prayed but we know that the quiet prayers of one man are more effective than the many words of the complainers around him. Now the Lord commands him to tell the children of Israel: “Go forward.” When the Lord calls you for salvation, do not stand still and do not look back. We see that the Red Sea is not yet parted; yet in faith going forward is when the way is opened before them. See Christ here: In the Old Testament, when Israel remembered the power of God, they always referred to Red Sea’s deliverance. Christ betters that deliverance!In the New Testament, the power of God is remembered in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
“and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead...” (Ephesians 1:19–20, NKJV)
His death and resurrection is the WAY that he made for us to pass from death to life.
Read Exodus 14:23-31
Read Exodus 14:23-31
The Lord has a controversy with Pharaoh and now it comes down upon his head. How hardened his heart was that he forgot about the water turning to blood, the frogs, lice, boils and darkness over Egypt. He has forgotten the funerals of the firstborn, including his very own. The man who said, “I know not the Lord!” After all that he has seen of the Lord’s working, he still does not know the Lord. If he did, he would not have stepped between the walls of water. The ruin of the rebel is that they run forward in presumption. They destroy themselves. Proverbs 7:23
It would seem that Pharaoh and his chariots went on for some time safely and triumphantly. But then the Lord looked down from the Pillar of fire and cloud and he troubled them. How quicklythe wicked come apart and fall. Their wheels dropped off. They became jammed up as the way grew deep. The Lord struck them with fear and panic. They would not let Israel alone and now God will not let them alone. As soon as Moses got to the other side, he stretched out his hand and they were all drowned. Not one escaped.
“So the Lordsaved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lordhad done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lordand His servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:30–31, NKJV)