Scripture: Exodus 14:10-31
10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were in great fear. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD; 11 and they said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt, `Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."Meditation: Just when the Israelites thought they were safe from Egypt's grasp, Pharoah and his hand-picked warriors made a surprise attack to force them back to slavery. The Israelites could not have been put in a more vulnerable and defenseless position. They were literally hemmed in by the sea on one side and by the vast desert wilderness on the other side. They had neither sufficient arms to fight nor the means to escape from Pharoah's swift cavalry. In great panic and despair they complained to Moses: "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? It would have been better for us to serve in Eqypt than to die in the widerness."
13 And Moses said to the people, "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. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be still."
15 The LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."
19 Then the angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, 25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before 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 water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen." 27 So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.
29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. 31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Left to ourselves, we, too, are vulnerable to Satan's attacks and to the power of sin in our lives. Only Christ can deliver us from such tyranny! Moses exhorted his people to fear not and to stand firm. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still. The Lord protected his people from Pharoah's forces by placing the pillar of cloud between the two camps. This gave the Israelites enough time to march forward through the Red Sea. When you feel overwhelmed by temptation and by the power of sin do you believe that God will fight for you and bring you freedom?
The Israelites had to be still to allow the Lord to fight for them and they also had to march forward through the Red sea to escape from Pharoah's forces. It took faith both to be still and to march forward. When we are confronted with problems we want to immediately take action. To be still before God requires trust and confidence that he will act as only he can act. And instead of retreating from our problems, we must march forward through them with faith in God's help, just as the Israelites had to walk through the Red Sea with faith that God would bring them through safely.
Water is an important image of God's life and grace. Through the waters of the flood God saved Noah and his family. The Israelites literally walked through a wall of water on their right and on their left as God delivered them from disaster with the Egyptian forces. Paul the Apostle says they were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea (1 Cor. 10:2). When we are baptized into Christ the power of sin is destroyed and we are delivered from Satan's oppression. Through the waters of baptism we receive a new birth in the Spirit and the freedom to walk as sons and daughters of God. When temptation and trials beset you, do you trust in God's grace and power to bring you safely through the test?
"Lord Jesus, you have set me free from the power of sin and Satan. Free
me from pride and rebellion that I may reject sin and chose for your way
of righteousness and holiness."