A Bridge Over Troubled Waters–Exodus 15 Final

The saying goes, “You can take the slaves out of Egypt, but can you take Egypt out of the slaves? The Israelites were now completely free from Egypt and its tyrannical grip. They walked away from the Red Sea, soon they were having trouble finding water. The first thought on their minds was why did we leave Egypt. As has always been the case, God provided water—he turned bitter water sweet and then led the nation to an amazing oasis.

God then began the formal education of the new free people. First, God provided the shock and awe of the plagues and the Red Sea parting. Next, he led them through the desert to the spring and used a piece of wood to sweeten it. Finally, he spoke and said, Trust me, follow me and obey me and you will never experience the plagues and illnesses of Egypt. It was important for the people to hear it, and, it was important for them to hear it straight form God’s mouth. It was a conversation, he would have several times with that generation of people.

It would be great if people would earn from God’s word after one session. Sadly, we, like the Israelites, take repeated reminders from God to remain humble, faithful and following. When we do so, we avoid so many of the outcomes the world has to endure. God never promises a life without struggle—but, he does promise we will not have to endure the entrapment worldly folk face. God wants us, as his chosen, to enjoy the freedom he won for us. We must trust him, follow him and obey him to enjoy the freedom he provides. While simple, this is by no means an easy task. Help me Lord to release the “Egypt” within me and humbly follow you.

God Bless You

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.[f]) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.

There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

A Time To Celebrate–Exodus 15 part 1

In the mix the battle, we often forget that when the Lord completes this plan, it is perfectly appropriate to celebrate. We spend many hours seeking his direction, requesting his assistance and asking for wisdom. But when God answers, delivers and works miracles, we often give a token thank you nod and move on to our next crisis.

 Israel stopped. They saw deliver them from their captives and they spent time celebrating his greatness and their deliverance. It is important to note that his greatness had delivered them out of Egypt, but, now it had removed the threat of a return to Egypt. That is a great deal to celebrate.

 In our lives and our culture, it is critical that we take the time to admire God’s greatness and thank him for his provision and protection. If we fail to take those steps, we become entitled and spoiled and try to become independent of God rather than free in his power and presence. Philippians 4 :6 says it best, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition—with THANKSGIVING, bring your requests before God. Then the peace of God which passes all human understanding wil guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus”.”

 God Bless You 
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:“I will sing to the Lord,for he is highly exalted.Both horse and driverhe has hurled into the sea.

“The Lord is my strength and my defense;he has become my salvation.He is my God, and I will praise him,my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

The Lord is a warrior;the Lord is his name.

Your right hand, Lord,was majestic in power.Your right hand, Lord,shattered the enemy.

Who among the godsis like you, Lord?Who is like you—majestic in holiness,awesome in glory,working wonders?

Gulp–Exodus 14 Continued

The nation of Israel stands at the bank of the Red Sea while Pharaoh’s finest are closing in—a real faith building opportunity. Moses sought the Lord. The Lord led Moses on what he needed to do–and then had Moses simply sit back and watch God work. And work he did. In preparation, God literally put himself between the Israelites and the Egyptians. Next, he parted the Red Sea and allowed the Israelites to cross on dry land. Then when they were safe, God allowed the Egyptians through to chase them and finally—Gulp, he closed the sea over the Egyptian army and none survived. A well completed plan for God’s Glory and Israel’s safety.

God continues to prepare and protect those he loves. He never promises that our lives will be free from struggles, he simply promises to meet the struggles with us, and carry us through to the other side. Every event is a little different, but, they all have a common theme—We are protected and God is glorified. Few of us mind being protected, but, often we struggle with giving God the Glory for what he has done. When placed in the balance, reasonable folks will give up glory and allow God to be our anchor, Savior, redeemer and friend. There are those, like Pharaoh—that simply are too prideful to share glory at any cost. Their end is usually destruction and their glory becomes their shame, such was the case with Pharaoh—devastated, dishonored and demilitarized; but, he had his pride!! Each of us needs to determine which is more important—God’s presence or our pride…I choose his presence.

God Bless You

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived

Large and In Charge–Exodus 14 Part 2

God knew that freeing Israel would be a process. To physically release them was easy, but, to change the mentality of slaves into free people could take a lifetime. After watching God do the amazing miracles of the plagues, the people should have been confident that he was delivering them, and nothing or no one could prohibit that deliverance. But, let the first little thing go wrong…

Ok, well the invasion of the entire Egyptian army with chariots and soldiers may not be a little thing to the average freed slave, but to God—it was the same as the frogs. It was simply another opportunity to protect his people and show the world they serve an amazing God. It forced the people of Israel to move out of the comfort zone of the seaside camp and march on into an impossible situation—walking through the Red Sea. In modern parlance—it was a faith building exercise.

In our lives, we see many events where God has freed, saved, enhanced, healed or delivered us from sort of slavery or entrapment. Even after the countless reprieves and miracles, when a little thing like the onslaught of a foreign invader comes along, we forget that God has and can handle it–if we will simply step out of the way and allow him to lead. In his mind, the size of the obstacle and the urgency of the obstacle are irrelevant—he simply wants us to trust and humbly follow. Whether the journey is across a street or an ocean—God remains “Large and In Charge!”

God Bless You

They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Do no Harm–Exodus 14 Part 1

The Egyptian King simply could not learn. After his pride and stubbornness cost his nation their infrastructure and the lives of their firstborn, The Pharaoh decided he would cowboy up and take God on one more time. So pharaoh gathered up his best troops, their best military equipment and headed out to capture the people he just released.

If pharaoh had simply reviewed his choices of the last month or so– he would have remembered that each one carried a higher and higher cost. If he and his advisors would have reasoned at all, they would have realized their ability to rebuild was in large part dependent on their ability to defend themselves if another nation attacked—the army was critical and about all they had left. Hmmm.

Sin in our lives does the same thing. We allow sin to override reason and destroy the very critical things that allow us to live. Our integrity, our families, our health and our professional lives are destroyed because we are selfish and do things that do not honor God. That is why He calls us to seek him and to follow him. If we do, we do no harm to our lives, our families and our future. What’s more, he actually protects us and provides for us even when we are under attack or have a great loss. As Jesus himself said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen[a] and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon

God’s Leadership–Exodus 13 Final

There is no place in the Bible more illustrative of God’s leadership than the book of Exodus. As God decimated the land of Egypt, he was preparing the hearts of Israel to step out in faith and follow him. When they took those steps, God carefully executed his plan to lead a nation of slaves to freedom and to reclaim their heritage as God’s chosen people. Initially, God knew that the people needed clear direction and clear leadership. So, God presented himself as a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. In addition, he led them away from the Canaanite warriors initially—and down to the Red sea. God was concerned that in their current state, Israel would return to slavery before they would go into battle as a free people.

We must remember that God knows us inside and out. He has his plan for our lives laid out in such a way to meet us where we are and lead us to where we are prepared for the battle and the victory he has awaiting us. God’s plan is not a “one size fits all” type plan. Instead, he prepares us and all those we touch to see him and follow him—as we are and from the place we are at. While we cannot always see the reason for his direction, we can always see him. Like the pillar of fire and cloud, God will clearly reveal himself if we seek him and humbly follow his lead. He will prepare us for his plan and protect us from the enemy both physical and spiritual. We simply need to watch and follow.

God Bless You

18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[a] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”[b]

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

 

Never Forget–Exodus 13 Part 1

What have you done for me lately? Sadly, through the ages, when we as people find ourselves out of danger and in a place of peace and prosperity, we often forget that it is God that protects and provides that for us. The Children of Israel had been enslaved for 430 years. They had been crying out to God for many years without ceasing. God heard their cry and now they were truly free from the hand of all captors and those that would destroy them. God knew this is where the spiritual challenge would begin.

As with Israel, God calls us to remember the events that have shaped our walk with him. We must never forget the answers to prayer, the miracles and the gifts he has given us. As a nation, we have been prosperous and free for over 200 years because of his blessing. When we begin to become comfortable and complacent in the blessings, that is when we forget their source and feel entitled to that blessed life. Paul tells us to be content and realize, like Israel, that we can do all things—THROUGH CHRIST. Without him we can do nothing. So the challenge remains—Never Forget.

God Bless You

“Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast.

Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving.

When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month:

On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’

This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.