Summary: How to handle a "Red Sea" (difficult) experience in your life.
Faith’s Hall of Fame: Israel
• In a pinch
• In a pickle
• In a jam
• In a corner
• In a squeeze
• Up a tree
• Between a rock and a hard place
• Behind the eight ball
• Driven to the wall
These are all expressions used to describe a situation with no easy escape or simple solution.
Have you ever been there? I’m sure you have. And some of you have been there multiple times. Perhaps some of you are there today. It’s an experience that we all face sooner or later in our lives.
This morning I would like us to consider an impossible situation that the people of Israel faced. We find their predicament in the book of Exodus chapter 14.
For the last 2 Sundays we’ve considered the faith of Moses. We have seen that by faith Moses refused the world’s prestige, the world’s pleasures, and the world’s possessions. We also discovered that by faith Moses returned to Egypt and kept the Passover. And now in Exodus 14, we find Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt.
In recounting this ancient story, we are first told of …
• The Hebrews’ Path
We begin in Exodus 14:1: “Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.’”
God directed the children of Israel out of Egypt toward the Sinai Peninsula near the Red Sea.
At this location, to the north would be several massive Egyptian fortresses.
To the south would be the barren Egyptian desert.
To the east would be the deep Red Sea.
And what was to the west of them? An angry, advancing army! And so Moses writes of …
• The Egyptians’ Pursuit
We read in verse 9: “The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.”
The Egyptian army came from the west in hot pursuit of the Israelites. But God intervened. And so we read of …
• The Lord’s Protection
The Lord protected the Israelites by first moving them to the edge of the Red Sea.
Then He put a wall between them and the Egyptians. Verse 19 explains: “Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them.”
And then we all know what the Lord did next.
On the way home from church one Sunday a father asked his little boy what he learned in Sunday School that morning. The son said, “We learned about the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea.” The father smiled and asked the boy to tell him about it. “Well,” his son said, “the Israelites left Egypt, but Pharaoh and his army chased after them. So the Jews ran as fast as they could until they got to the Red Sea. The Egyptian army was getting closer and closer. So Moses sent the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Egyptians. While that was happening, the Sea Bees built a bridge across the Red Sea. When all the Jews were safely across, Moses told the Air Force to let the Egyptians through. Then Moses sent Israeli Navy Seals to wire explosives to the bridge. As the Egyptians were crossing the bridge, Moses detonated the explosives and blew the Egyptian Army to smithereens!”
By now the father was shocked. He looked at his son and asked, “Is that the way your Sunday School teacher taught you the story?” The boy responded, “Well, no, not exactly. But if I told you what they told me, you’d never believe it!”
And that little boy was right! The Lord did something unbelievable. What did the Lord do? Let’s watch.
[Show 10 Commandments video—Red Sea crossing]
The Lord did the unbelievable. He led His people through an impossible situation. Now, this event was not recorded for our amazement. Rather, it was written for our instruction. Romans 15:4 says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
We all encounter “Red Sea experiences” in our lives. There are times when we’re between a rock and a hard place—between the desert and the deep Red Sea. It might be a Red Sea experience with your …
• Marriage—your spouse has left you and filed for divorce
• Child—stubborn, defiant, open rebellion against the Lord
• Job—laid off, can’t find work, and money is tight
• Health—you’ve been to the doctor and it doesn’t look good