“I Need a Hero”: Exodus 14:13-31
Do you know anything about the Red Sea? Until I started preparing to share with you today, the extent of my knowledge of this body of water was basically what you just read in chapter 14. So I did some Internet digging and this was the best map I could find. The geography of this area is still basically the same today and the region is still inhabited by Egyptians. It is the modern day link from the Arabian Sea to the Suez Canal and beyond to the Mediterranean. It is also the last main waterway that still separates the Israelites and the Egyptians. The width of the sea ranges from 16 to 220 miles and the average depth is 1,607 feet. Interesting, that even as you are reading this, Israel and Egypt are locked in a heated conflict over certain warships from Iran being allowed to pass through the Red Sea. So what is my point in discussing all of this? The Red Sea is not a little, insignificant creek. It is a strategically located body of water that represents as much political challenge for the Israelites today as it did physical obstacle 3,500 years ago. But for you, me and the Lord Jesus- it represents so much more.
Those poor Israelites were done for and they knew it. As we saw Monday, they turned into a fearful mob of angry, faithless doubters the minute they heard the thundering pursuit of chariots. And please do not hear criticism in that charge! They were completely and hopelessly trapped and had I been there that day- I would have been leading the pack of panic! Today however, as we read this account, we have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and we can hear those beautiful words of S. M. Lockridge from Monday’s video clip and know that Salvation’s coming! But in our effort to seek the Lord through His Word, let’s join the Israelites in their desperation and hear the only words of promise they had that day: a promise that changed their fate as sure as it changes ours today.
In response to the Israelites’ accusations and terror, “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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ (Ex 14:13-14)”
Oh Sweet Friend! Did you hear that? GOD is fighting for you. As we stand with the Israelites on the shore and contemplate which death would be easiest: drowning or defeat by a too- powerful enemy, Jesus said, “Nope! No way are you going down, baby. Don’t move a muscle-I’m right here.” God beat the enemy of his children that day at the Red Sea through Moses and the raising of his wooden staff. 1,500 years later the enemy’s defeat came through His One and Only Son on a risen wooden cross. And that was only the beginning! In a fashion that puts every super hero you have ever read about to shame, our Warrior fights for us every minute of every day, never sleeping (Psalm 121:4) and all we have to do is be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). I guess it is the hopeless romantic in me that is enthralled by this attribute of my Savior and His relentless pursuit of victory for the likes of me. Although for many of us that most precious moment came when our Eternal Hero brought us from death to life, it thrills me over and over that He is still parting seas for us every day, big or small. Like the Egyptians, our enemy is a defeated foe and we don’t ever have to even see him again because God will allow no one to be snatched from His hand (John 10:29)!
Moses said this best as he sang this beautiful song of praise to our Hero in chapter 15. I hope as we read it, we can join him in adoration for the almighty God who fights for us.
“I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.
2 “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.
3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, LORD, was majestic in power.
Your right hand, LORD, shattered the enemy.
7 “In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you.
You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble.
8 By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood up like a wall;
the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils; I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’
10 But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who among the gods is like you, LORD?
Who is like you— majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory, working wonders?
12 “You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies.
13 In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
14The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia.
15The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling,
the people of Canaan will melt away; 16 terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone—
until your people pass by, LORD, until the people you bought pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.
18 “The LORD reigns for ever and ever.”
In five days from now, I am going to ask the Lord to get me across another sea. Although I am not in a life or death situation, I’m going be honest with you; I’m getting a little nervous. Actually, if I’m being completely real-the Israelites aren’t the only ones experiencing feelings of panic, fear and doubt today. Believe me when I tell you that the one thing that is going to get me to put my foot on the dry ground of that airplane is the promise we read today. My Hero is fighting for me. He has gone before me and ultimately, victory is my only option. In closing, know that since there is no version of Moses’ song on iTunes, I’ve attached this one by Caedmon’s Call and I’ll be humming it all weekend. I hope you can sing it with me in praise to our Warrior as He still parts seas. Lord willing, the next time I write to you, it will be from the other side of the Red Sea…I mean the Atlantic Ocean.
Homework for Friday is to read Exodus 15:22 – Exodus 16 (all of chapter 16).
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