Notes on the Exodus! (128)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Divine Glory  (Chapter 14 Verses 15-31)

The sheer logistics of this move is a nightmare without the added threat of the Egyptian armies coming at the people of Israel. They hit the panic button. But that doesn’t alter anything, it’s not only unproductive it is destructive, paralysing. The thing to do is to stop and think, and think in terms of what God has said and promised. This way you begin to see and realise the sufficiency and the trustworthiness of God. That way faith is also encouraged and strengthened for the future. Of course, it’s the Devil who seeks to destroy our faith and peace. Our safety is in the Lord. There is some irony in the complaints of Israel (v11). They appear to be obsessed with death, they have been living for too long amidst the tombs and pyramids of Egypt (Proverbs 8:36). There is no true and saving faith with these people at this juncture in their history, the New Testament appears to affirm that. Jesus destroyed most of them (Jude 5). It is only the gospel that reverses this obsession of and terror of death (John 11:25). If anyone has a problem with the signs already performed in the Exodus account, they will have mega problems with this one. Faith needs a promise, this they have (v14). And command needs obedience, go forward (v15). Faith must see the invisible, the salvation of the Lord (Hebrews 11:8). This is a dead end, an impasse, no way out. Only faith, only believing in God. There is a divine impatience with is servant, “wherefore criest thou unto me” (v15)? It’s a time for action not praying. This in faith life is where you move from the theory to the practical. Both are necessary and important. If the theory isn’t right the practice won’t be. We need to study, meditate, engross ourselves in the theory, in God’s word. Only then are we ready for action. The thing is these people have heard and seen enough, they ought by this time to be trusting in God. This is a test to see to discover faith. There are times when God takes and leaves us in extremities for this end, to test and to discover faith before he puts forth his hand to deliver. See the book of Job for example. See the trials of the apostles (2Corinthians 1:8-9).

God would have us look to him, do what he says, even when it seems beyond us. Then he works, opens a way, and we get the benefit, our faith is increased (Hebrews 11:29). Otherwise, our pilgrim walk would be by sight and not faith (2Corinthians 5:7). The Lord begins to open up the way, but not completely, each step forward is a fresh step of faith (v16). Such is the way of faith in any generation, even now. Yes, there is fear, confusion, sometimes totally baffled, but God isn’t. He always knows what he is doing and going to do. It is afterwards, we look back afterwards, then understand what God was doing. We must keep in mind that God is doing things here, he is judging Egypt and he is delivering Israel. Yes, unlike me God can do more than one thing at once. Both are for his own glory (v17-18). The Egyptians would not plough into the see were they not blinded, “God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear” (Romans 11:8). The secret counsel of God’s purposes are being worked out here, that is, “the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth” (Romans 9:11). There is a double sign, miracle here. Israel, God’s covenant people are saved (v13a). Egypt, i.e, the unbelieving world is destroyed (v13b). The full final weight of God’s justice falls on Egypt. If men will not serve the Lord they will be judged. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish Psalm 1:1-6).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)
Sermon Audio

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