THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU
A Changed Mind
As Israel reaches the edge of the wilderness, the Lord directs Moses to alter their course by turning back and encamping by the sea. This change would lead Pharaoh to believe that Israel was confused and trapped. Pharaoh would decide to pursue God's people and this would lead to their defeat and God's glory. Moses and the people obey. Pharaoh and his servants have second thoughts about what they have done and realize that they lost their primary source of labor. Pharaoh sounds the alarm, readies six hundred chariots, and mobilizes his army. He then leads his army in pursuit, and they quickly overtake the people of Israel.
As Pharaoh nears the people, they see a massive army with trained soldiers headed straight for them and this sight strikes fear into every heart, and they begin to call on the Lord. The people criticize Moses making reference to the death obsession that marked Egyptian worship. They repudiate Moses and accuse him of not listening and bringing them to the wilderness to die. Moses does not waver, and he tells the people not to be afraid, but to stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord which would be accomplished on that very day. He assures the people that they would never see the Egyptians again. He declares to the people that the Lord would fight for them and they only need to remain silent and see their salvation.
I Am The Lord
The people only see and hear Moses' confidence, but God hears his cries for help. God tells Moses to move forward, lift up his staff, and stretch out his hand over the sea. The people of Israel would go through the sea on dry ground. God explains that the Egyptians would follow because of their hard hearts and God would triumph over Pharaoh and all his host showing his glory as the one true God. There would be no question in the Egyptians mind about the identity of the God of glory. The angel of the Lord moves from the forward position to the back, and the pillar of cloud stood between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. The pillar of cloud became the pillar of fire that night, and neither nation approached the other one all night.
The Sea Parts
Moses obeys the Lord, and God confirms Moses authority to lead and God demonstrates his power and right to claim ownership. The Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind, and the ground became dry. Two watery walls framed the path on which Israel walked to safety and freedom. The foolish and arrogant Egyptians follow after Israel in the midst of the sea. The Lord clogged the wheels of Pharaoh's chariots, and they panic as they realize that the Lord was fighting for his people. The Lord tells Moses to stretch out his hands again, and the judgment of God would be poured out as the Red Sea became a watery grave for the Egyptians. Pharaoh and all his host perished in the heart of the sea. The Lord saved his people that day as they witnessed both his power and his judgment. The result was that the people feared the Lord, believed the Lord and recognized Moses' authority as the Lord's servant.
Things To Consider:
- How does God use ordinary circumstances and actions?
- How are our hearts hardened by selfishness and pride?
- Why is power an illusion?
- Why are we prone to fear?
- How does fear sometimes cause us to doubt?
- Why is necessary to understand that only the Lord saves?
- How comforting is it to think that God fights for his people?
- How does God guide and protect his people now?
- What thoughts do you think filled the minds of the people as they walked across the Red Sea on dry ground with a wall of water on either side?
- Why does sin bring death?
- Do you fear and believe the Lord in what he says? Why or why not?
- Do you recognize the authority of God's leaders in your life? Why or why not?