Summary: Our relationship with God needs to grow everyday!
Last week we noted from Exodus 12 that God kept a vigil on all Israel as they left Egypt, likely there were 2 million people God was keeping an eye out for. God keeps vigil on all His people! Now, since Exodus 13 relates to remembering God, we will go to that Chapter next week as we celebrate Communion. I have asked Janet Hansen to read our text this morning. Please open your Bibles to Exodus 14 as Janet comes up to read for us…..
Before we summarize the story and apply Biblical Principles to our lives, let us briefly revisit the potential for controversy of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. A study of this topic will reveal that God stated this hardening of Pharaoh’s heart 10 times; but, we also note Pharaoh himself hardening his own heart 10 times! We have noted before that basically God allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart. Plus, let us note what Jesus, who is God, said to the people who were thinking of killing Him; Jesus said in John 8:45 “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” In other words, God always looks at the heart!
How did God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? God kept telling Pharaoh the truth that there is only One God and it wasn’t Pharaoh. Pharaoh kept telling himself that he was god.
Sometimes (or many times?) we think we’re pretty smart when we think of something interesting; but we forget that God gave us our brains! Always be thankful and always humble yourself before your Creator God!
Do you know why we have 2 polarizing political parties today? – It is because neither party wants to hear the truth of what the other party is saying! We can say that political parties today sadly are hardening each other’s hearts.
Pharaoh had every opportunity to humble himself before God but he never did and God used it to teach others.
And so, let us discuss Exodus 14….
There are 2 important things to note in Exodus 14 v1-4:
- God was not done with Pharaoh and His revelation to the Egyptians
And did you notice, God actually told the Israelites to turn back and…
- The Israelites obeyed God
And what can we note in v5-9? Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds, pursued and caught up to the Hebrews to take them back!
As the Hebrews saw the Egyptians after them, they were terrified! What was the right thing the Israelites did in v10? – The Hebrews cried out to the Lord!
But what did the Israelites do wrong in v11-12??
The Israelites complained to Moses, which is actually a complaint to God!
These are the same Israelites who obeyed Moses and God wholeheartedly earlier; what happened??
Because of fear, the Israelites lost faith in God!
Now, do you note anything interesting about Moses in v13-16??
Moses was very confident about God towards the people but he himself was complaining to God and slow in taking action! God told Moses, “Why are you crying to me?”
And so in v17-18: God reassured the Hebrews of His power and His desire for the world to know Him!
v19-20: God protected His people with an angel and with weather!
And through Moses, v21-22: God divided the sea and the Israelites were able to cross the sea on dry land! How deep was the sea?? The sea was deep enough to drown horses and chariots! (v28) Can you picture yourself as one of the Hebrews walking on dry land but on either side of you was a wall of water? I would have tried to fish while walking!!
v23-30: God’s final judgment on the Egyptians came and some testified about God (v25). Here’s a question to ponder: Did Pharaoh drown?? Something interesting to discuss amongst friends later; if Pharaoh lived, why? I wonder what happened to Egypt after the Hebrews left? We know that Egypt is still around and God will likely use Egypt in the end times!
Exodus 14 ends in v31: the Israelites feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
Let’s note some Biblical principles from this Chapter….
First of all, what can we say about God from this chapter??
- God always does things for a purpose!
- God is patient with people, desiring people to believe in the truth! God was patient with Moses and the Israelites. God was patient with Pharaoh and the Egyptians!
- God has power over the spiritual and physical realms!
- God will protect and provide a way for His People!
- God will call on people as instruments of His power! – like He did with Moses
Secondly, what can we say about the Hebrews in this chapter??
When things were well, the Hebrews obeyed the Lord!