Notes on the Exodus! (129)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Deliverance of Israel  (Chapter 14 Verses 15-31)

This calls for radical faith here and places a huge responsibility upon Moses the servant of the Lord. God makes a great demand upon him and the people in this matter. But when we stop and consider all that has gone before, the signs and wonders performed in Egypt bringing about their liberty, is is really a big ask? They have been given every assurance and encouragement to trust and follow wherever the Lord would lead them. Remember it is God who is in the pillar, not a bystander, a spectator. He moves with his people, he has promised them his dynamic presence, ever working on their behalf. The same pillar lit up the night, there was no darkness to contend with or to add to their fears (v19-20). The enemy was out of sight. So again you see they have a visible sign indicating that their safety is from the Lord. He stood between them are their foes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121). In the darkest valley, in the presence of our enemies he sets a table for us (Psalm 23). He always surrounds his people, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 125:2). The words,“fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again” (v13), is not just a command, it is designed to dismiss their fears.

But if we stop and think in the midst of our own crises the promises and the commands of the Lord are not just feeble words. They carry divine power. He spoke the entire created order into being and sustains it the same way, “he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3. After calming the storm he speaks to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith” (Mark 4:40)? All the elements, the wind and the sea are his servants, they do his bidding. And so too does the Red Sea here. No, it is not some shallow crossing that they were able to wade across, it was deep, very deep. It was deep enough to drown the Egyptian army with all its equipment in. We speak of the laws of nature, they are no such thing, they are God’s laws, and he is a liberty to suspend those laws at will. That is what a miracle is, God intervening and suspending his own created laws. He, God, controls the natural and the supernatural. In fact if we stop and think about it all is supernatural because all is upheld by the supreme power of God. The parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites was a wonder of grace, a sign that he was here present in grace on their behalf. It was a gracious act of deliverance to redeem his people and to strengthen their faith. However again we have a type of the cross here. First, Egypt is the world, the house of sin. Two, Canaan where Israel are headed, is the promised land. Three, the Red Sea is the way from the house of sin to the promised. In faith they must pass through the Red Sea to get to the promised land. “All passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). Here Israel is separated from the world to Christ, all of them, children two. God, as he did at Calvary, strikes away

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

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