Summary: This is the eight message in a series over the life of Moses that shows that being God's man is never easy. This message examines God's ability to get us out of impossible situations.
Perhaps you have heard one of the following expressions or maybe you have used one of them personally. “Up the creek,” “in a jam,” “in a pickle,” “painted into a corner” or “between a rock and a hard place.” Each of these phrases sends the same message, someone is in a mess, and they find themselves in a situation that the chances of getting out of it are slim to none. When you find yourself in this type of situation, your anxiety level is through the roof and hope quickly begins to fade. In our text the Israelites find themselves in such situation. God’s miraculous display of power in Egypt has caused the Egyptians to throw them out of the country. With a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, God has led His people to the banks of the Red Sea. It seems like the plan is coming together beautifully. However, there is one slight glitch, Pharaoh and his officials have begun to weigh the ramifications of their hasty decision. They realize that if they do not get the Hebrew people back, they will be forced to do manual labor, that thought is definitely not too appealing. So Pharaoh decides to send the army out in hot pursuit. Despite witnessing firsthand the power of their God earlier in Egypt, when they see the approaching army coming up the rear and the Red Sea in front of them, they panic. Human logic tells us that they are in a hopeless situation. However, when God is involved there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Today, we are going to examine the Hebrews’ Red Sea experience and discover some principles we can apply to our lives.
I. Time to pack them up and move them out.
A. The people have been hoping for this day to come for the last four centuries.
1. On the 430th anniversary of Jacob entering Egypt more than two million Hebrew people pack up and leave Egypt.
2. The people moved out of Egypt in an orderly military fashion and we learned they were also armed.
3. Apparently the Hebrew people got some weapons as well in Egypt to protect them against any resistance they might encounter.
4. As Yahweh leads His people out of Egypt it is a time of great celebration as the people leave the bonds of slavery behind them.
5. The people also took with them the bones of Joseph on this journey to the Promised Land.
B. The people still will have a lot to learn about their God and the new life that He has called them to.
1. The people have lived in Egypt for more than four centuries so undoubtedly they picked up some the Egyptian customs and moral standards which would prove to be problematic as the Hebrews began their new life.
2. God had called His people to be different, to live a lifestyle that reflected His righteousness.
3. When the people arrived at Succoth God taught His people by giving four sets of instructions through Moses.
a. The people received additional instruction regarding the celebration of the Passover.
b. The people received instructions in regard to the celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
c. The people received instructions in regard to the firstborn of men and animals.
d. God gave them the directions in regard to their journey.
4. God made sure that the people in the Hebrew camp would know that He was always with them by providing them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar fire by night to guide them.
II. More than just another day at the beach.
A. God has a very surprising wrinkle in His plan to deliver the Hebrew people.
1. God chooses to take His people to Sinai via the long away around rather than the shorter more direct route.
2. Too further complicate matters God tells the people to turn back and the reason was to make Pharaoh think that the Hebrews were lost and wandering around aimlessly.
3. This change of direction took them right back into the heart of Egyptian controlled territory.
4. God told Moses that Pharaoh would pursue them at that point and that He would use this event to bring Himself the glory once again.
5. The Hebrew people without a doubt were probably trying to make sense out of this latest set of directions.
B. The Egyptians realized that it wasn’t such a good idea to send the Hebrew people packing.
1. The Egyptians reconsidered their decision realizing that it was a bad idea to let the majority of the nation’s workforce leave the country.
2. Pharaoh receives word that Hebrew people’s divine help had run out and they were sitting ducks in the desert. With that news God had set His trap for Pharaoh.