Summary: The story of the Red Sea crossing compared to trusting God when we encounter scary times in life.
Intro – (Lyrical dance to “No Longer Slaves” will precede sermon)
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Do you see what it says? God’s word is like a mirror. We ought to see ourselves there. That’s part of the fun of hearing God’s word! It’s not just stories. It’s real life, and it’s bigger than just the moment that it’s describing.
• The Passover, remember, is also the story of Jesus dying on the cross.
• Moses himself, and many of the stories about him, show how he is a figure of Jesus – foreshadowing Jesus Himself. Moses even told the Israelites, “The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me….”
• The story of the whole exodus event itself is also the story of how God frees us from the slavery of sin and death.
So, the story we’re looking at today isn’t just Israel’s story. Many of you will recall as we went through a series called “The Story” that God’s word is a story with “an upper story - what God is doing,” and “a lower story - what is happening in history” and “your story - how your life fits into the whole.”
So, the Exodus of Israel, out of Egypt, is the story of me and you and the same loving God who loved and interacted with His people Israel. Later on, for hundreds of years, God is still reminding Israel about their deliverance from Egypt.
Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
God frequently reminds us too. Why? There’s a lot of help now from what happened 3,400 years ago. It’s there for a purpose – it’s there for us!
I want to give you 3 phrases to remember today. Chances are that at one time or another one of these will you useful to you – either now or later. They tell the story of Exodus 13-15, and they’ll help you remember parts of it when you most need them.
1. It’s hot in the desert
2. Chariots don’t float
3. Song and dance will follow
(I. It’s Hot In the Desert)
There’s a lot of desert on the Sinai Peninsula just east of Egypt. There’s a lot of heat, too – 106 deg. average highs in the summer. And there’s a lot of sand – the kind that blows around and buries things so there’s no trace left of them for months.
That’s where the whole nation of Israel is walking. Israel is 600,000 men on foot. That doesn’t include women and children, and “many other people” who went with them. So Israel had to be at least 1 mil. in number. That’s a lot of people to take on a campout in the desert!
It was still night time when Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron to leave. All the Egyptians wanted them to hurry up and leave. The window of opportunity was open, and they made a quick exit.
As they left, they asked the Egyptians for gold, silver, and clothes – and the Egyptians gave them to them! Can you imagine it: “Say, I really like those sandals you’re wearing. Can I have them?” “Sure!” “And that earring…you don’t need it do you?” “No. Take it. Please!” The Bible says that Israel “plundered” the Egyptians this way. It’s as if they had invaded their country and made off with the spoils of war.
Then 13:18 says they marched out “armed for battle.” That’s quite a change from being the peon slaves! Egypt had been visited by God’s wrath, and they were still reeling from it.
OK. We’re out. So….where do we go now? Every direction they look it seems like sand - just a lot of sand.
But God knows where He’s taking Israel, and He guides them with a special help – a big pillar of cloud at day, and the same turns to fire at night. When it moves, they move. When it stops, they stop. So where will God take them? The most direct route to the Promised Land, Canaan, would be through what Moses refers to as “Philistine country” (13:17). God knew Israel. They weren’t a warring nation. Really, they didn’t ever need to have an army before. God knew that marching straight into war would be too much on them.