Exodus 13:17-14

 

The children of Israel thought they had it made because Pharaoh had finally let them go. However tonight were going to find out that the Pharaoh wasnít finished with them yet.

 

Exodus 13:17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt."18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.

 

We learn that there were 2 routesthe children of Israel could of taken. The first route was through the land of Philistines. This would have been the easiest route take because it was closer. The second route took them to the wilderness by Red Sea. God wants them to take the harder route because he knows that if the Children of Israel take the easy route that is close to Egypt when they see the Pharaoh and his arm approaching that they will run back to Egypt with their tails tucked between their legs. Thisharder route would make it very difficult for them to try run back. When I was thinking about this I couldníthelp but think that sometimes we try to take the easiest path in our lives. But as Christians when we follow Gods word and we strive to do those which are right many times is going to lead down a more difficult road. In fact this reminded of what Jesus said.

 

 

Matthew 7:13-14 3 " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

 

The children of Israel was an army now and they were armed for battle and based on verse 18 when it says they went out in orderly ranks according to a Hebrew lexicon this means they were standing side by side in rows of 5.

 

19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you."

 

This oath is found in

Genesis 50: 25 Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here."26 So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

 

I find thisvery interesting of how much importance the children of Israel took an oath. Think about it. Here we have Joseph who was embalmed and stuck in an Egyptian coffin and the children of Israel had managed to keep up with his body for 430 years and now they are starting the process of keep their oath by take Josephs bones with them.

 

20 So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

 

The children of Israel had camped at to places the first was Succoth and the Second place was Etham which was at the edge of the wilderness. The Lord loved his people and he was there to lead them. By day he guided by a cloud and by night he lead them by fire. Verse 22 show Gods longsuffering in that he did not take away the cloud or fire day or night. The same thing is true today God love us just as much as he loved the Children of Israel then. He will always be there for us and that should give great comfort.

 

Exodus 14:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea.3 "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.'4 "Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD." And they did so.

 

God had a plan that would not fail. Since God knows the heart of man and he knew that when the Pharaoh came and saw the children of Israel camped at the river that he would think that they had become confused and didnít realize they were trapped and easy prey for Pharaohs army. Thatís exactly what God wanted him to think.

 

5 Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, "Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?"6 So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him.7 Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them.8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.

 

Once again we see Pharaoh change his mind but this time the children of Israel were gone. They just couldnít seem to fathom the thought of losing their slaves so Pharaoh gathers up his army and races to find the children or Israel. It doesnít seem to take them long before they catch up with them where they were camped by the sea just where God told them to stay. The Pharaoh is like satin always pursuing and never giving up.

 

 

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.11 Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?12 "Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."

 

Here is where we see fear come over the children of Israel. When the saw Pharaohs army they began to shake in their boots. Here the thing I donít understand. First of all they had seen first hand what God had did in the 10 plagues against Egypt they had also seen God guiding by a cloud during the day and by fire during the night. They had armor and were ready for battle. Why were the scared of Pharaoh and his army? After all they had been through and seen they apparently still lacked trust in faith in the Lord. Now it easy for me to say this standing here safe in the building but I would like to think that if I were there and I had seen all that God done that I would have enough faith and trust in God not to fear the Pharaoh and his army. Thatís exactly what God teaches us today in the NT.

 

Matthew 10:28 28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

The children of Israel had not graspedthis concept. Notice what they do.

  1. The cry out to God
  2. They ask Moses Have you brought all the way out just to die in the wilderness?
  3. Why have brought out of Egypt?
  4. Did we not tell you to leave us alone so that we could serve the Egyptians?
  5. We would have been better off staying in Egypt instead of dying out here.

 

13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.14 "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

 

Moses tries to get the children of Israel to calm down and to really think about their situation and think about God almighty.

 

  1. Do not be afraid
  2. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Watch what he will do today
  3. You will never see these Egyptians again.
  4. The Lord will fight for you so hold your peace.

 

This is something good for us to remember today as well. We should not be afraid of enemies and should strive to put our trust in God knowing that he will fight for us and he will delivers us in the end.

 

 

15And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.16 "But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.17 "And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.18 "Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

 

Here is where we learn about the miracle of parting of the Red Sea. First of God tells Moses to tell the Children to go forward and then Moses is to raise is rod over the sea and God brings about a strong east wind which blows all that night and parts the Red Sea and makes it dry enough for the children of Israel to cross with all of the belongings. We also protects the Children of Israel while the sea is being parted. The angel of God moves behind the children of Israel and causes darkness to be on the Egyptians and light to be on the children of Israel. Some have doubted and tried to explain away this miracle of the parting of the red sea. First of all a natural wind could have never produced the parting of the sea. We must keep in mind that there were somewhere around 2 to 3 million of God children here. This means that the parting of this sea had to be pretty wide for this many people to cross over. The Bible describes the water being as a wall on the left and the right this means that is was not a shallow parting but that the water was fairly deep. Then when you factor in that the ground was dry so they could walk across it shows that is truly was a miracle and it done by God. Gods plan was working perfectly because now Pharaohs army was chasing after the children of Israel across the Red sea.

 

 

24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians.25 And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen."27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.

 

What an amazing site this must have been. At first I am sure the Pharaoh and his army thought they just might catch the children of Israel but the harder they tried the more God against them. Here they had there fancy chariots and all their captains but God made the wheels fall of the chariots. It then the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."While this was true it was to late for the Egyptians. God tells Moses to hold his rod up again and this time these great walls of the river came crashing down and drowned the Pharaoh and his army. Once again the children of Israel were afraid but this time they feared the Lord and once again they believe in the Lord and in Moses. Finally the Children of Israel were safe from Egyptian bondage and it was time for the to start a new life dedicated to following God.

 

Now what I want to do is to show how their salvation was obtained and how it very similar to the way our salvation is obtained. Even thought the Children of Israel became scared when the say Pharaohs army and even began to question why they even came out there when Moses told them Gods command to go forward they obeyed. Moses was told to raise in rod up over the sea again he obeyed. Once the water was parted and even though I am sure it was scary to walk across such as a site as that they obeyed. When they were safe on the other side Moses was told to raise is rod again and once again he obeyed. The salvation came because the obeyed God will.

 

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,3 all ate the same spiritual food,4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

 

The children of Israel were baptized in Moses and when the came up out of the walls of the water and cloud they were saved and now they were to begin a new life living in unity and serving god.

 

That is the same way it is today. He wants his people both Jew and Gentile to be obedient to his will. Instead of Moses he wants us to baptized into Christ. In Romans 6 Paul describes in detail what happens when a person obeys god will and submits themselves to baptism in Christ. He talks about how were are buried with Christ how old self is crucified with Christ and how we are raised up to start a new life in Christ have had sins removed.

 

Romans 6:15- What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

 

Notice since they obeyed the gospel and were baptized into Christ they were freed from sin.

 

Revelation 22:14 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

 

So you see salvation for the children of Israel and salvation for us today is achieved by have an obedient faith and following Gods command.