Summary: Crossing the Red Sea – Exodus chapters 14. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(1). God’s leading (vs 1-4)

(2). Israel's panic (vs 10-13).

(3). God's power (vs 13-31).



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• Have you ever found yourself trapped?

• In a predicament?

• We actually have a lot of word pictures in the English language;

• That we use to describe being in a difficult situation.

• We hear phrases such as “you sure have painted yourself into a corner,”

• We are “up against the wall”.

• Or “in a pickle” or “in a jam.”, a “Catch 22” situation.

• “Between a rock and a hard place?”

• They are all word pictures to describe being trapped;

• To describe being in a situation where there is “No way out?”

Well in Exodus chapter 14 that this is the case with the Hebrew people.

• They find themselves in a desperate situation.

• They are imprisoned, trapped with nowhere to turn.

• There seems to be no way out;

• They’re caught... Between the Pharaoh and the deep Red Sea!

Application: It may be this morning that you find yourself in a predicament:

• You might be in that situation;

• Because of an unwise series of decisions you have made i.e. it’s your own fault!

• Or maybe you find yourself in a predicament through no fault of your own;

• i.e. It occurred because of circumstances beyond your control.

• Well this ancient story has some up to date help;

• This chapter contains the most involved predicament Israel ever faced;

• And remember they lived to tell the story!

(1). God’s leading (vs 1-4)

“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”

• Remember that for 400 years these Hebrew people had been in slavery to Egypt.

• Not only had they lost their freedom, but also their culture.

• Their pattern of lifestyle – without realising it they were Egyptian to the core.

• They had picked up the habits, the earmarks, the style,

• They even the very smell of Egypt (leeks & garlic!) came from them.

• That is why God brought them to the Red Sea;

• He wanted to get their attention;

• So he put them in an impossible situation so that all they could do was to look to him.


• Glance back for a moment to the previous chapter (13 verse 18) note the words:

• “So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea”.

• Again note in chapter 13 verse 21:

• God led them by a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night;

• And again at the start of chapter 14:

• We read God is leading his people through Moses his servant.

Now the point I want to make is this:

• The Hebrew peoples predicament was not an accident.

• It wasn’t a wrong turn. It wasn’t a miscalculation.

• God led, Go put, God guided these Hebrew people in an impossible situation;

• Because he knew these people needed this Red Sea experience;

• They needed to see him in a tangible way;

• And discover him as the God they could trust and depend upon.


• If you are in a predicament this morning;

• You can moan about it, feel sorry for yourself because of it;

• Or like the Hebrew people;

• You can use this situation to help you discover God in a real and fresh way.

• This morning you can experience God as some you can trust and depend upon.


• In verse 2 that God ordered Moses to change direction;

• To the horror of the people he told them to backtack;

• To retrace their footsteps all the way back to Baal Zephon.

• Now you did not need a Satnav to know this new route was not actually the best.

• Many if not all the of the Hebrew people realised this;

• And they must have thought this was madness;

• They were being taken back into a geographical cul-de-sac!


• Very soon they would find themselves trapped,

• With the Red Sea on one side, which was un-crossable by human standards.

• (The Red Sea is some 5 to 8 miles across & 250’ - 300’ deep).

• On the other side trackless wilderness;

• And in front an overwhelming barrier of mountains.

• In other words they were being boxed in by their own God;

• And by their leader Moses.

• And the people knew it was only a matter of time;

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