Summary: At the Red Sea the Israelites are caught between the Red Sea and the Army. They have no Idea that God is about to do the unexpected. What challenges in your life call for you to look to an Unexpected action by God
10 As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17 Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”
19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Upon my graduation, my Mom gave me a book of poetry. One poem that stood out for me at that time in my life was called “A Thousand Ways” by Esther Guyot. When I decided to use it in this morning’s sermon, I tried to track it down to give credit, but I could not find it in all of my searches.
And so, I quote it this morning giving this unknown woman credit. Thank you, Esther – whoever you are.
God has a thousand ways
Where I cannot see one;
When all my means have reached their end
Then His have just begun.
If there was ever a poem written for this circumstance (or for the quandaries we face all too often as parents), it is this one. The Israelites were standing in front of the Red Sea and couldn’t go forward. Behind them were the armies of Egypt. They could move neither forward or backward.
Have you been there? Perhaps as a parent, perhaps as a teacher, maybe in your job, or a relationship at work, or one at school. You are standing helpless in the middle with no choice.
Some of you, at this point, will draw your swords and decide you are ready to fight to the death.
Others of you, at this point, will be trying to remember your swim lessons and be ready to abandon your belongings just to save your life.
But there is a third way – there is always a third way. You can turn the problem over to God. And God will do something you never expected. You see it, not just here, but again and again in the Bible.
This morning I want you to remember that “With God, we can always expect the unexpected!”
Let’s go back and look at Sarah and Abraham. When Sarah turned 76, she was in this quandary. God had promised Abraham a son. She could no longer bear a child, so she took matters into her own hands and gave Hagar to Abraham to do the job. Little did she know that God would make her laugh – giving her a son of her own 13 years later.
Who would know when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery that he would grow up to be the one who saved them.
We have seen it in this series with Moses already – a mother sets a basket afloat with nothing more than a prayer, and an Egyptian princess intercedes and saves the baby.