‘Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which he will show to you today’ Exodus 14:13
“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In our last lesson, we saw how God delivered the people of Israel from their slavery by slaying all the firstborn of the Egyptians. However, He delivered the firstborn of the Israelites from death,
because of the blood of the lamb,
which they put on the doors of their houses. For God Himself had said,
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” (Exod. 12:13)
Thus, on that night, all the tribes of Israel made their exodus from Egypt. That night of the Passover was a night of great joy for them.
Think about it!
For hundreds of years the people of Egypt had mistreated them and oppressed them with hard work to the point where there was no happiness left in their lives. But now . . . now they were free! On that night of the Passover, the LORD God delivered them!
And now God promised to guide them through the wilderness and take them back to the land of Canaan, the land which, as you know, God had sworn long beforehand to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Canaan was the land in which Jacob and his sons lived before they moved to Egypt to live with Joseph. Today this land is called
Palestine or Israel.
In this lesson we have before us the amazing story about how God delivered the Israelites from the armies of Pharaoh. Most of our reading is found in Exodus 14. Read the story which the prophet Moses has recorded: (Exodus 12:37-38) “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even much cattle”. (13:19-22) And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had solemnly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones away from here with you … and
the Lord went before them
by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: he took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people”
(Exod. 14:1-12) “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp … by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are trapped in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured over Pharaoh, and over all his host, that the Egyptians may know that
I am the Lord.
And they did so. And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: and he took six hundred chosen chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And
the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh,
king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them, and they were in great fear; and
the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
And they said, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness”
Why were they not trusting God? Could not the God who had delivered them from the bondage of slavery again deliver them from Pharaoh’s troops? Of course He could! However the Israelites did not think about this because they were so terrified. The sea was in front of them. Mountains were on their right and on their left. Behind them, Pharaoh’s troops were advancing to recapture them or even kill them! What should they do? What could they do? How could they be saved? Let’s listen to what Moses said and see what God did.
(Exod. 14:13-31) “And Moses said unto the people,
Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which he will show to you today;
for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today,
ye shall see them again no more forever.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward; but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them; and
I will get me honour over Pharaoh,
and over all his host, over his chariots, and over his horsemen. And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these, so that the one came not near the other all night.
And 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 dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for
the Lord fighteth for them
against the Egyptians. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
And the waters returned and covered the chariots, and the horsemen,
and all the host of Pharaoh
that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses.”
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously … the Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation” (Exod. 15:1,2) Thus, they began to sing, and thank God for
the great salvation
which he had accomplished for them. Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses, took a tambourine, and all the women followed her, beating tambourines and singing and dancing. Miriam struck up a song, saying, “Sing ye to the Lord for
He hath triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea!” (Exod. 15:21)
Friends, that is the true and wonderful story about how God made a path through the sea for the people of Israel. Now then, how can we conclude our lesson? Perhaps we can conclude with a simple question and here it is:
Could they save themselves? We saw how the sea was in front of them. The mountains were on their right and left. And Pharaoh’s troops were behind them. Could the people of Israel save themselves? Could they cause the sea to dry up? Or level the mountains? Or perhaps battle the troops of Pharaoh? No, they could not! Who then could save them?
Only the LORD God could deliver them. That is why Moses said to them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today!” Only God could save them! And He did save them. That is why, after they had arrived on the other side of the sea, they sang “The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”
God Himself had become their salvation.
There was nothing that the Israelites could do to save them-selves from Pharaoh’s troops—nothing, except to follow the path which God had opened for them in the midst of the sea, and then thank Him and worship Him for delivering them from certain death!
Dear friends, God wants every-one to know that all the children of Adam are like the children of Israel. Like them, we have no hope of escaping the disaster that will soon befall us
unless God delivers us!
Perhaps the sea is not before us, but death and hell await us. Perhaps the mountains are not at our sides, but
the holiness of God condemns us.
Pharaoh and his troops are not behind us, but Satan and our sins are upon us and threaten to destroy us forever!
Who can save the children of Adam from God’s righteous judgement? Who can save the sinner from the fire that never goes out? Who can save man from the power of Satan?
Who can get us to the other side of the sea of sin and bring us into the holy place called Heaven?
Only God can save us! Man has no possibility of saving himself nor of saving another person. This is what the Scriptures declare: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8,9)
God, who is great in mercy,
has opened a way of salvation for all the children of Adam, to deliver us from the power of Satan and sin and hell. God wants us to escape the judgement of raging fire that awaits all who die in their sins, but we must come through the way of salvation which He has opened for us! Do you know the way of salvation, which God has opened for you so that you can escape the power of Satan, the horrible results of sin and the punishment of hell?
Are you in the way of righteousness which God has established
so that you can be blessed in His holy presence forever?
The way of salvation which God has opened for the children of Adam is not based upon good deeds which man can do, nor is it based upon following the requirements of a religion. God says, It is “not by works, lest any man should boast.”
It is the way of the Redeemer, who came from heaven to die for our sins and rise again—to free all those who believe in Him—those of us who were like slaves because of the power of sin and the fear of death. The Holy Scriptures speak of this mighty Deliverer, saying: “Neither is there any salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Yes, God has opened for you a way in the “sea of sin” so that
you can escape the punishment of sin
and get to the other side into the safe and holy presence of God. But you must cross over by the way that God has opened for you. Concerning this way of salvation, the Redeemer said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to [God] the Father except by me. . . . I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 14:6; 5:24) Dear friend, have you “crossed over from death to life?”
In the next lesson, Lord willing, we will see how God fed the Israelites in the desert.
God bless you as you think on Moses’ word to the Israelites,
“Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which he will show to you today” (Exod. 14:13)
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