Living By Faith
Three lessons ago we began to look at the first obstacle—the Red Sea (Exodus 14). We said that we would divide our study into four phases. In the first phase, we observed the circumstances leading up to the Red Sea problem. Israel was deliberately led by God into a situation where the Egyptians would be pressing down with no apparent way of escape. They actually had to turn and change directions to get there, but God had a purpose. He wanted Israel to learn dependence upon Him. He also wanted Pharaoh to think they were trapped, because God was seting a trap for Pharaoh.
Two lessons ago we saw the responses of Israel and Moses when they saw the Egyptians coming. Israel waltzed out of Egypt with their fingers pointed in the air, all proud and puffed up. They did not give any attention at all to God’s plan and purpose. Then when a crisis occurred, they collapsed in despair and began to complain. In contrast, Moses courageously said, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Then he took his burden to God. That is the difference between those who live by faith and those who do not. Are we paying attention to God’s plan and purpose for our lives?
Last time we observed the deliverance of Israel. God parted the waters while Israel waited. God through the cloud became their fortress. The Egyptians could only come as close to Israel as God would allow. Then Israel began to cross the sea, and the Egyptians pursued, thinking they would have the victory. But God began to trouble them by removing the wheels of their chariots. Then it dawned on Pharaoh that God was fighting for His people and He had set an ambush.
IV.) The Victory:
That brings us to the fourth and final phase, which is the victory. First we saw God as our fortress and refuge in time of trouble (Psalm 18:1-2). Next we saw Him provide the way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13). Now we want to see the triumph that is ours if we trust in Him. There are three considerations:
A.) Egyptians Overthrown:
Scripture: Exodus 14:26-28
26 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. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 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.
First, we need to consider the enemy’s destruction. God told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea. Just when victory seemed so close for the Egyptians, God troubled them.
The wheels fell off of their chariots. That is when the truth became reality. They knew that God had set an ambush. They knew that He was fighting for Israel. So Moses stretched out his hand and the waters returned to fill the gap. The wave swept away the enemies of Israel.
How difficult was it for God to defeat Pharaoh? Think for a moment! Did God have to work hard? Did He break a sweat? Did He say, “Wow, I’m tired!” No! He merely had to relax for a moment the pressure of the east wind. It was that simple!
24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. 25 When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Our God is a consuming fire! Man likes to think of himself as mighty and great. But God is omnipotent—all powerful. In comparison to that we are nothing. For God to destroy this world He has only to relax (Colossians 1:17). It is far easier than creation. There He worked for six days and rested on the seventh. But destruction involves no work at all. Do you comprehend what that means?
Scripture: Lamentations 3:22-23
22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
It is due to God’s compassion and mercies that we are not consumed. There are those who think that getting rid of God will make for a really fun time. They have no idea at all how horrible that will be. To have all of the passions and desires that we have now, but without God to make provision for them is a taste of hell. Add to that complete and total darkness for God is light (I John 1:5) and total isolation, because God is love (I John 4:8) and will not allow us to afflict others with our evil desires. That is hell.
Imagine for a minute having every desire and craving that you have now with no way to fulfill any for all of eternity. They will be like a worm that dieth not eating away at us.
God is kind and loving to all. It rains on the just and unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). But He is also holy (Leviticus 11:44). Justice demands death for sin (Romans 6:23). He delays out of compassion, but only for a time (II Peter 3:9). God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to repent, but he angrily pressed on until the waters covered the whole host of his army. All of this is but a shadow of things to come. Satan is the Pharaoh of the world system, and one day the rebels of his army will be as easily dismissed by the King of kings and Lord of lords.
B.) Israel’s Salvation:
Scripture: Exodus 14:29-31
29 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. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31 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.
Secondly, we need to consider Israel’s salvation. Verse 30 says, “Thus the Lord saved Israel…” Wait a minute! I thought they were saved when they left Egypt? What is this?
Salvation is not merely a fire escape from hell. Many people think that they can receive Christ as Savior from hell and then do as they please. This seems to be the prevailing mindset of twenty-first century Christianity. It does not seem to matter whether you believe in eternal security or not. We used to get a lot of grief over that (eternal security) and still do sometimes. People who believe you can lose your salvation accuse us of giving people a license to sin. But they do even worse with people sinning all week and going to church on Sunday. They think if they do their two bits for God, everything will be okay.
Nothing could be further from the truth. God demands holiness of us (I Peter 1:16) and grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and live soberly, righteously, and godly (Titus 2:11-12). If we are truly born again, we have repented of our sin. We turned toward God and automatically from idols and sin (I Thessalonians 1:9). We took up our cross to follow Christ. Our salvation only began the moment we received Him! It only began! He delivered us then and continues to deliver us now (II Corinthians 1:10).
We just need to keep on trusting Him and seeking to live for him. It may rain on our parade right along with the ungodly, but God will get us through (I Thessalonians 5:24).
C.) Victory Celebration:
Scripture: Exodus 15:1-7
1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
Third, we need to consider the victory celebration. After the battle was over, then came the praise and thanksgiving. Notice how Israel gladly claimed the Lord as their God. Just the day before, they were ready to go back to Egypt and God was the one who was trying to kill them. What a difference a day can make. Now, suddenly, He is their God. You need to know that this song is called the song of Moses. Who really gives God praise, when He gives victory?
It is not the unfaithful and the disbelievers. It is the one who trusts in Him. Moses wrote the song. Israel merely sang the words. We have to pay attention to God’s plan and purpose to really appreciate the message.
In conclusion, this same song will be sung in heaven by those who gain the victory over the antichrist (Revelation 15:3). It is a song for all ages. Are we looking to God for direction in our lives so that we can learn this song in the depths of our soul? That is the only way we can truly claim it as our own.
Next time: Marah—How Soon We Forget! (Exodus 15:22-27)