Summary: This sermon draws some New Years resolutions from God’s rescue of Israel from the Egyptians at the Red Sea.
Resolutions Gleaned From The Red Sea Rescue
Text: Ex.14: 13-15
Intro: Here we are facing the beginning of a new year. Who knows what 2009 will bring. It’s anyone’s guess, for no one can foresee the events of tomorrow. It is as the Scriptures tells us:
Prov.27: 1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
James 4: 14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Some will choose to face the coming year with anxiety. Others will look to the year ahead with ambivalence (“…conflicting feelings toward a person or thing…” ), while still others will approach the New Year with anticipation. However, I suspect that most of us, at some point during this next year, will experience all of those attitudes and emotions to some degree. You see life is not static in nature. It is in a constant state of change. But the fact remains that the mindset with which we choose to face 2009 now, will have a lot to do with how we emerge from it emotionally December 31 of next year. Warren Wiersbe has said that, “outlook determines outcome.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement.
In dealing with His children to effect their spiritual maturity, God often permits them to experience the pressures of life. But spiritual maturity isn’t God’s only goal in allowing life’s pressures. It is during the difficulties we face that the submitted saint turns to God for help, comfort and enablement. It is often the problems that bring the very Person of God into sharp focus for His children. This is illustrated very clearly in our text. God used His Red Sea rescue to teach Israel some wonderful spiritual lessons that we would do well to heed. We would do well to render these lessons in the form of New Year’s resolutions that will help us face the unknown future with faith in God.
Theme: Let us wholeheartedly…
I. RESOVLVE TO NOT LIVE IN FEAR
Ex.14: 13a “…Fear ye not…”
A. Like The Israelites, We Often Fear Circumstances.
Ex.14: 8 “And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.”
NOTE:  God had already revealed His mighty power to deliver the Israelites via the plagues that had ravaged Egypt, and prodded Pharaoh to let them leave. But, having reached the Red Sea, the Israelites once again responded in fear at the first sign of trouble. It may seem like an elementary point, but let me draw your attention to verse eight, where we are told, “…the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh…and he pursued after the children of Israel…” In other words, God engineered this whole scenario (Ex.14: 1, 2). Ultimately, God, our heavenly Father, is in control of our problems and pressures. We would do well to remember that fact.
 It’s understandable that the Israelites would experience an initial bout of fearfulness when they saw the massive armies of Egypt rushing toward them, and then realizing that they were blocked in by the Red Sea. But faith in God should have overridden their sudden fear. The Bible assures us that, “God has not given us the spirit (disposition) of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim.1: 7). Occasional fearfulness is one thing, but to live there is quite another. Fearfulness as a way of life and faith as a way of life are mutually exclusive.
[2a] This truth is brought out in Luke 8: 50 where Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, had just heard that his little girl had died. Jesus told Jairus, “…Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
[2b] The same truth is found in a number of places in Hebrews chapter 11. For instance, it was by faith that Moses’ parents “…were not afraid of the king’s commandment” to kill all the male babies of the Jews (Heb.11: 23). In that same chapter, we find that by faith Moses left Egypt, “…not fearing the wrath of the king…” (Heb.11: 27).
 When we learn to quit living in fear, and start living in faith toward God, we experience rest and confidence.