Summary: The Red Sea that stood between the Israelites and deliverance was both real and frightening. But often just as real and just as frightening are the "Red Seas" we encounter in our Christian life.
THE RED SEAS OF LIFE
"By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned." Hebrews 11:29
"When Moses and his people from Egypt’s land did flee"
Their enemies behind them, and in front of them the sea,
God raised the waters like a wall and opened up the way,
And the God who lived in Moses’ time is just the same today."
Introduction: The Red Sea that stood between the Israelites and deliverance was both real and frightening. But often just as real and just as frightening are the "Red Seas" we encounter in our Christian life.
I. The "Red Sea" of besetting sin:
"…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Heb. 12:1 The NKJV translates "beset" as "ensnares"; NASB" uses "entangles".
Let’s mention some besetting sins that a Christian might wrestle with.
Lust: "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." James 1:14-15
Anger: "Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself." Proverbs 22:24-25 NASB.
Covetousness: (the source of envy and jealousy): "And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." Luke 12:15.
In facing our besetting sin, we must never lose sight of the promise: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13.
II. The “Red Sea” of doubt:
John the Baptist faced this “Red Sea” while imprisoned by Herod. We read of this in Matthew 11:2-6.
“And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"
“Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: "The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." Matthew 11:2-6 (NKJV)
III. The “Red Sea” of fear:
As children of God, we are not automatically exempt from fear. We may experience fear regarding our health, our employment situation, family concerns and a multitude of other matters. One such incident is recorded in John 20:19, we read:
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." John 20:19 (NKJV)
IV. The "Red Sea" of discouragement:
"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." Hebrews 12:3.
The Christian can become discouraged over:
Personal failures; disappointments; oppressive difficulties.
"Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying: ’The people are greater and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."’ Deuteronomy 1:28.
V. The Lord will lead us safely through our "Red Seas":
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2.
The Lord has not necessarily promised us passage “around”, nor “over” the “Red Seas” in our life, but He has promised to be with us and to take us safely “through” them.
Annie Johnson Flint wrote her great poem “Passing Through” inspired by Isaiah 43:2. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NASB).
“When thou passest through the waters”—
Deep the waves may be and cold,
But Jehovah is our refuge
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself hath said it,
He, the faithful God and true,---
When thou comest to the waters,
Thou shalt not go down, but through.
Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain,---