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EXODUS 14

THE MIRACLE AT THE RED SEA!

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

THERE ARE A TOTAL OF 16 BIBLE STUDY LESSONS ON THIS PAGE.  THEY COMPRISE A COMMENTARY ON EXODUS CHAPTER 14.

 

LESSON 1:

I still believe the miracles of the Bible!

Even the one about the Lord parting the Red Sea and allowing a whole nation of Israelites to pass over "dryshod!" 

You can read about the whole event in Exodus chapter 14.

I believe this Bible Passage gives us valuable information on how we can face our "difficult" situations of life also.

After all, Paul (when speaking of the Old Testament Scriptures) told us:  "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  1st Corinthians 10:11

Then he repeated his thought in Romans 15:4 --- "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

Let me show you what I mean.

This particular "problem" Israel was facing (having to cross a sea with an attacking army behind them) happen to them just after the Blood of the Lamb had been applied to their homes and hearts!

This is a battle for followers of the Lord God Almighty!

It's a picture of one of those trials even new Christians must face!

Peter warned us:  "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."  1st Peter 4:12-13  (He's writing to Believers in Christ!)

Paul said the same thing to his converts in Acts 14:21-22.  "And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

Jesus Himself laid the foundation for such tests and pressures with these words:  "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."  Matthew 5:11-12

Someone reading these lines today may be facing a hard situation!

With Israel in Exodus 14:1-10 ... there was an army behind them, an ocean in front of them, and mountains on both sides of them!  It seems there was no way out of their dilemma!

But God intervened!

Friend, you too may be surrounded by mountainous problems ... but the same God is still on the Throne!

He can move for you too, dear Christian Brother or Sister!

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD!" ... Moses proclaimed to the Jews that day!  Exodus 14:13

That word "salvation" can mean deliverance!

And what our great God did for them ... He can do for you!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

Here's what the Bible says in Exodus 14:1-2. "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea."

Even a quick reading of this text shows us that God Himself has told the Israelites exactly where to camp!

This also is the exact place where geographically the Red Sea is before them, mountains are all around them, and (soon) the Egyptian army will be behind them!

Did God know all this?

God knows everything!

He is omniscient!

So ... we are thereby brought to a startling conclusion.

The Lord God of Israel, fully knowing what was about to happen, still led His people into the exact position where a crisis would occur!

He even told them in advance that old Pharaoh would be attacking!  Here are God's precise words:  "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them!"  Exodus 14:3-4

Here's a God appointed problem!

It looks to me like the Lord did the same thing to His Disciples in the New Testament.  After feeding the 5,000 Jesus did this: "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away."  Matthew 14:22

Now mid-way through that little sea journey a storm hit!  "But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary." Matthew 14:24

Jesus put those men in the exact place where that fierce weather would come!

These two events (while there are many more in Scripture) serve to illustrate a fact in the Christian life.

God controls everything ... and can even use the hard situations of life to bring Himself Glory and teach us valuable faith-building lessons!

He will risk our "comfort" to increase our "godliness!"

Now I am not saying every problem a Believer encounters is God's perfect Will. A lot of our bad situations are the results of our disobedience and stubbornness!  (Yet even then God could have prevented the issue at hand!)

I even know of one case where God withheld a man from sinning!  He said to  ancient King (Abimelech) ... "Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."  These words were spoken in reference to Sarah Abraham's wife.  Genesis 20:2

Here's what I am saying to you this Saturday.

The next time you face a problem ... try to remember God uses those things for His Own purposes!  He can turn problems into progress! 

He (as with Israel in Exodus 14) might be wanting to glorify His dear Name!

He might be wanting to increase our faith!

He might be wanting to defeat an enemy!

He might be wanting to chastise ("whip") us for some disobedience!

He might be wanting to teach us some other valuable spiritual lesson!

He might be wanting to do all of the above!

This is know.  Our God is BIGGER than any of our problems!  He's even bigger than ALL our problems!

Just remember Jeremiah 32:17 --- "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."

And just a few verses later, God asks: "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"  Jeremiah 32:27

We here ought be be able to find some encouragement for our next "problem!"

Look for God's Hand in the whole situation!

He's there!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

Right in the heart of one of Israel's greatest problems (in all her history) God says something amazing!  As His people face the greatest and hardest journey of their whole national life, God informs them:  "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so."  Exodus 14:2-3

God knew their "problem" was coming before it (that army) even got there!  He even knew what Pharaoh was thinking! In fact, it looks like God even caused the whole thing! (Which must mean God has some great goal in mind!  He never does anything haphazardly!  Everything's decent and in order with the Lord!)

It should be comforting to us in our problems just knowing that our Lord (the same God just 3500 years later) knows what's coming our way also!  Any problem a Believer has is a "designer" problem sent from God to help us in some way!  Proof needed?  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

Then ... look!  God gives us another "hint" behind the WHY of this great crisis!  "I will be honoured!"

God, through this coming battle and catastrophe, will be glorified!

That too should bring us peace!  To us Christians ... enduring problems can become a lot easier if we just think upon the fact that God might be glorified in our lives! (Probably more in crisis times than in vacation times really!)

Jesus even looked at the Cross as an opportunity to glorify His Father!

Lazarus' death and resurrection were designed for God's Glory too! Here's what Jesus said in John 11:4 --- "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."  Wow!

And the same was true about the man born blind in John 9.  "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." 

If possible we ought to make it our goal to be more interested in God's Glory than in our Crisis!  What a great level of Christian living that would be!  And what co-operation with the Will of God!

Paul amplified this whole truth by saying:  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  1st Corinthians 10:31

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

When problems come, try to discover their "source."

"WHY?" is a question we Christians are not always allowed to ask! 

But sometimes it is in order!

There is an answer to WHY the Egyptians attacked Israel as they were on their way to the Promised Land!

The Bible tells us:  "And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" Exodus 14:5

At the heart of the issue ... the reason Pharaoh tried to stop the exodus ... is found in the simple fact of human selfishness, greed, or more plainly, money!

The King was losing a 2,000,000 (at least) man work force!  Israel had worked for him without pay for many years!  Money, money, money is all the world understands it seems!

Learn this fact this Lord's Day morning.  While the inner workings of our problems can be complicated, and while behind them all is the Almighty Hand of God ... humanly speaking 99% of the attacks upon you as a Christian will come from a selfish person who wants more of something!

Again, greed!

It would have been "good riddance" to Israel had they not been so strong and healthy and energetic!  Millions of dollars a day in forced labor ... leaving town? "No sir," says Pharaoh!

Listen to Solomon here:  "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."  (Proverbs 13:10)  Behind all that fighting you will find: human wants, desires and ego!  In a word ... selfish pride!

Paul had no problems in his ministry at Philippi ... until he cast a demon out of a money-making fortune teller!  When her owners lost their source of revenue ... accusations, arrests, beatings, and jail sentences began!  (Acts 16)

Same thing at Ephesus!  Remember those upset silversmiths in Acts 19?  So many people had been saved that business profits were down ... not as many silver idols being purchased!

Lost human nature has not changed through the years!

The next time someone is mad at you ... see what's in it for them!

I'll guarantee you this:  they perceive that you're in their way!  Blocking them from some sort of gain!  Whether financial, social, emotional or some other area of life ... you're stopping what they want!

Sometimes it just helps to know WHY the attack is so vicious!

And occasionally God does allow us to know!

At least in Exodus 14 He does!

By the way, since GAIN seems to be at the bottom of this whole thing ... let me remind you of one of the Bible's great promises!

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."  Matthew 5:11-12

The enemy's gain is "peanuts" in comparison to your "gain" for serving the Lord!

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."  2 Timothy 2:12

Herein take comfort!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

There's an interesting clause in Exodus 14:9 that I'd like to study today.

"But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon."

Pharaoh not only chased the Israelites ... he "overtook" them!  He found them!  He caught them!  He "hemmed" them into a corner!  ("Overtook in Hebrew = "reached!")

The Lord let the "trouble" come ... and put His people right in the middle of it!

Here's my point!

The Lord (in no place that I've found) promises NO TROUBLE!

At least He does not promise permanent earthly freedom from troubles!

In fact, it looks to me like He promises that troubles and trials WILL come! 

I base that on verses like John 16:33 where Jesus said:  "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  Wow!

But what He does assure us is that He can deliver us in the troubles of life!

Psalm 34:6 --- "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."  Not "from" trouble ... but "out of" trouble!  The poor man here was already "in" trouble when the Lord "delivered" him!  Do you see it?

Here it is again in the same Psalm:  "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."  Psalm 34:17

Listen to David's testimony in Psalm 54:7 --- "For He hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies."  Yes!

Psalm 46:1 tells us more.  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

And we would all have to admit that God had even removed the fear of trouble from the heart of Habakkuk!  "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments."  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Friends, when troubles come (like this Red Sea experience with Israel) ... as things get "darker" by the hour ... remember that our great Lord can deliver you OUT OF trouble too!

Praise His dear Name!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

When problems come in the Christian life (and they surely will) ... respond as Israel did in Exodus 14:10.

With danger all around they did two simple things ... and God gave them victory!

"And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD."

First, they "cried out unto the Lord!"

They prayed!

I read a Book last week about the development and maturing of the great doctrine of "prayer" throughout Scripture!  Well, from Adam to Moses I would say "prayer" has developed very well!  (Adam and Eve conversing with God in the cool of the day is a pretty early example of it too!  That happened in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:8.)

The verb "cried out" (in Hebrew = "tzsaaq") means "to call out for help!"  Or "to gather together and make outcry!"  (The root verb means "to shriek!")

When trials and hard times come ... PRAY!

We have so many more prayer promises to claim today (the whole New Testament) than they did 3500 years ago! 

Also notice that we have two "looks" in this verse.

The Jews looked at the enemy ... "The children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them!"

Then ... they looked at their Lord ... "And the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD!"

That's the right way to do things!

Survey the problem ... then surrender to the Lord!

Count the enemy ... then cry unto the Lord!

The enemy produced fear ... the Lord produced faith!

(See here that although Israel was fearful ... they STILL prayed unto the Lord! Don't let your fears scare you away from the Greatest Friend you have!  Do what the Psalmist did:  "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."  Psalm 56:3)

Again ... in our Bible study today Psalm 46:1 is proven true!  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

Another thing to expect when problems come is recorded in verses 11 and 12.  That is ... turmoil from within! Seldom does a problem come as just a single unit of trouble!  No, trials come in pairs (or triplets)!  Or worse!  Ask Job about that!

"And they (the Israelite people) said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."  Exodus 14:11-12

Grumbling and doubt and accusations ... all from the very people you are trying to help!

On one of the greatest days of their nation's life ... and they only want to talk about death!

That's that old defeated negative pessimistic attitude!  (So unlike real faith in God!)

Then here comes the old "we told you so" thing too!  "Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?"

All this is discouraging ... especially when a problem has "hit!"

How does one handle this confusion and fear and turmoil within the camp?  Within the church?  Within the family?

By pointing away from the problem and toward the Saviour, toward the Solution!

And that's exactly what Moses did in the very next verse:  "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever."  Exodus 14:13

Little complaints can best be handled by revealing a BIG GOD!

In His Presence such trivia seems to disappear!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

"Wait on the Lord!"

Three times the Psalmist tells us to "Wait on the Lord!"

Then he further records the times he does so!

Psalm 33:20 --- "Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield."

Psalm 62:1  --- "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation."

Psalm 130:6 --- "My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning."

The key verb "wait" also means "to look for, to expect or to hope for!"

It's a companion verb to all the "trust" words too!

When the trials of life come ... often there appears to be "no place" to go!

"What do I do?" one cries!

The old ideas of being "at the end of the rope" or even "at wit's end" or perhaps "exasperated" comes to mind.

Things look "hopeless!"

Well, that's exactly where the nation of Israel was very early in their national life as they stood before the Red Sea ... with an army behind them ... and mountains on both sides!

Hemmed in!

Does God speak to such impossible issues of life?

Our living God Jehovah does!

Listen what He told those Jews through their leader Moses:  "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever."  (Exodus 14:13) Wow!

To "stand still and see" has the idea of "waiting!"

God assures His people that He can handle the situation!

Their part is simply to trust Him!

Christian, let me ask you something.  Has He (our dear Lord) ever let you down?  Has He ever failed you?  Has He not always been faithful?

Moses pretty much says to Israel:  Watch!  God is about to move!  Deliverance is coming!

And look what happens as the people of God trust Him.

As one's eyes are kept on the Lord ... the enemies just disappear!

"Ye shall see them no more for ever!"

That can happen!

In fact, in a sense it always happens!

The more you reverence God ... the less those other things matter!

The more you "fear" God ... the less you will "fear" man!

The very same thing happened to Isaiah once (except in reverse).  "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."  (Isaiah 6:1) 

Once Isaiah no longer "saw" the King ... He clearly "saw" the Lord!  (Had Uzziah not died, would Isaiah have had this glorious encounter with the Lord?)

See the Lord ... and the sight of all other things will "grow strangely dim!"

The Lord simply "dwarfs" everything else!

Psalm 56:3 tells us more about how to do this.  "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."

"Lord, help our faith to grow!  In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Yes!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

A thought like this ALWAYS helps during times of trouble:  "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."  Exodus 14:14

Did you know that was in Scripture?

God has some purpose for Israel!  (I'd say!)

Through them will come the Christ Child!

Why, they are indestructible as a people!

No wonder God is going to fight for them!

(And may I tell you Christian friend, as you do God's will and fulfill His plans in your life ... God has purpose for you too!)

Actually ... you as a New Testament Believer in Christ have even more promises of God than did the Jews of old!

They ... at this time ... had no Bible!  (Moses had not been inspired to write it yet!) You have all 66 Books!

They had:  "The battle is the LORD'S!"  1 Samuel 17:47

We have:  "If God be for us, who can be against us?"  Romans 8:31

They had a Saviour Who was to come and pay sin's terrible price!

We have One (the Same One) Who has now come and paid that price!

They had bees:  "And I (the Lord) will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee."  Exodus 23:28

We have the Holy Spirit ... sent by the resurrected ascended victorious Saviour! "And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb!"  Revelation 12:11

The verb "fight" in our verse today means "to go to war!"  Three times in the King James Version it has the idea of "devouring or eating" something!

And the verb "hold your peace" actually means "to plow deeply!"  It somehow however came to mean "be quiet!"  (Maybe what God does so rearranges and "plows" up the "status quo" that all we can do is silently worship!)  The verb can also mean "to engrave!"  Maybe God is redesigning our hearts to better trust Him as He works valiantly in our trials and problems!

Oh, I love this verse!  Let me print it here one more time:  "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."  Exodus 14:14

Talk about protection!

I once heard an old Preacher use this verse from Isaiah 54:17 --- "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."  I like to have never got over that one!

And now today ... here's a new one!

 "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."  Exodus 14:14

Let me go think about it!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

Once as a young teenager I heard a preacher say this:  "The two most important words in the Christian life are trust and obey."  He then asked the church song leader to sing the old hymn by that very name --- "Trust and Obey!"

"There's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey" its chorus concludes!

That's the very lesson Israel had to learn as they prepared to cross the Red Sea back in Exodus 14!

At the very moment of crisis the Lord spoke:  "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."

Did you see that?

"Go forward!"

At that very second it was time to ... "trust and obey!"

In every crisis which the Christian encounters ... if he or she will just "wait" on the Lord (trusting Him) ... there sooner or later (depending on how long our Father in Heaven needs us to "wait") will come a command!  Some instruction! The next step to take!

And when it comes ... obey!

If you  have no "light" from God ... wait!

But when the "light" comes ... move forward, obey it!

Once King David was told to do nothing, absolutely nothing, UNTIL he heard the sound of a "going" in the tops of the trees nearby!  Then ... go forward!  See 1st Chronicles 14:15.

Once the Apostle Paul was in a dilemma.  He did not know where to next go, preaching the Word of God!  The Holy Spirit had said "no" to several of his plans.  He just waited ... really I think he went to sleep!  Then ... "A vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us."  (Acts 16:9)  He later just said that he was "obedient" to the heavenly vision!  See Acts 26:19.

Remember ... when the crisis comes, when the "sea" of life becomes rough and stormy ... just wait it out ... UNTIL WORD COMES FROM THE LORD!  IT WILL COME!  THEN ... OBEY HIS SWEET VOICE!

Israel, under Moses' leadership did so!  "And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."

Need I say any more?

By the way, "Where God guides, He provides!"

He will NEVER lead you to a place, then give you a command ... without meeting your need as you obey Him!

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6

Yes!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

A fact of life is simply this:  God is Faithful!

God will do what He says!

Look at what Deuteronomy 7:9 promises about our Lord --- "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations!"  Yes, He is "the faithful God!"

Paul adds:  "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."  1 Corinthians 1:9

Then this promise ... "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  1st Corinthians 10:13

In other words:  "And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."  That's what Joshua said near the end of his long life of serving the Lord!  (Joshua 23:14)  Isn't that the very "height" of faithfulness?

And when Israel faced the Red Sea on their front side ... and an attacking army on their back side ... they needed (and had) a faithful God!

God said "Go forward!"  (Exodus 14:15)

The Israelites obeyed!  (Exodus 14:22)

Then watch what God did!  "And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.  And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.  And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.  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.  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.  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.  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.  Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore." Exodus 14:19-30

Was God faithful to His people?  Yes!

Was God faithful to His Word?  Yes!

Was God faithful to His Plan?  Yes!

Was God faithful to Himself?  Yes!

Has God ever failed to be faithful?  No!

Has God been faithful to you, dear friend?  Yes!

Will He ever fail you? No!

After all, Titus 1:2 mentions the God who cannot lie!  "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began!"

And Hebrews 6:19 adds:  "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us!"

Notice the capitalized words in those two verses!

God will never lie!

Jesus said:  "If it were not so, I would have told you!"  John 14:2

Our God IS the very Truth!  Again, listen to Jesus:  "I am the way, the truth, and the life!"  What a claim!

He is faithful!

His ways are not our ways.  They are "higher" than that!  But His ways are best!  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:8-9

Who but our faithful God would have ever thought of making a way THROUGH the Sea? 

Truly Israel could have claimed Psalm 77:19 --- "Lord, Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters!"

Amen!

And the great God, who was faithful that day 3500 years ago ...WILL BE FAITHFUL to you today also!  That's a promise!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

Even when problems come, one thing must be kept in mind.

The Lord is there!

He is with us!

Even in Old Testament days, it was so!

Ezekiel, prophesying I believe of God's future Temple in a literal time of coming glory, said of Jerusalem: "And the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there."  Ezekiel 48:35

"The Lord is there!"

In the Hebrew language that's:  "Jehovah Shammah!"

Many textbooks include that Title as one of God's Names!

When Israel, as a young nation, faced her greatest problem yet ... the Red Sea dilemma ... the one critical factor was ... THE LORD WAS THERE WITH HER!

It is essential when trials and difficulties come to realize this!

Preacher Bagwell, how do you KNOW the Lord was there with His people?

"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night."  Exodus 14:19-20

That term, "the Angel of the Lord," is a "pre-incarnation" reference to the Lord Jesus Christ!  He is the eternal Son of God!

He was with Israel in their greatest crisis!

Look what This Angel is called in Isaiah 63:9 --- "In all their affliction He (our God) was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in His love and in His pity he redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old."  Amen!

When problems come ... remember the Angel Of His Presence!

Some preachers believe that God's Presence IN the trial may be more precious than God exempting you FROM the trial!

Of course these folks by the Sea side that day did not have a New Testament.  But, if they had, look what would have been available to them ... and IS available to us!  Jesus said:  "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20)  Then Paul added in Hebrews 13:5 --- "For He (the Lord) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

What promises!

THAT'S OUR HELP IN TIME OF TRIAL!

Sense His Presence!

Some trials may be so dark that Gad just cannot be "seen," even through the eyes of a discerning faith!  Then one has to just believe that He is there!  That is, based upon His Word!  Job, shaken by crisis after crisis, longed for God!  "Oh that I (Job) knew where I might find Him (God)! that I might come even to His seat!  I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say unto me." Now, the Patriarch may have gone a little too far here (under that intense pressure) ... but he still believed God was there ... somewhere!  An old song says that even in life's darkest moments: "Standing somewhere in the shadows, you'll find Jesus!"  Amen!  You sure will!

By faith, remember ... He is there!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

It's just called TRUST!

There comes a time in all insurmountable problems that one just has to turn it all over to the dear Lord!

There's nothing else you can do!

In Psalm 37: 5 we are taught:  "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."  That verb "commit" means to "roll" all the burden onto the dear Lord!  Roll it over!  Now, that's trusting!

Can God handle our problems?

Every single one of them!

Let Peter add this:  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  (1st Peter 5:7)

But ... what did God do for Israel here beside the Red Sea?

A "new" thing!

He did a "Jeremiah 33:3" thing!  "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."

Let's look at Exodus 14 ... at God's mighty and creative "solution" to Israel's problem!  "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."  Wow!

Trust God's creative Power and Wisdom!

He knows some solution we've never even imagined!

(Even things like the "Rapture" of the Church and His literal "Second Coming" to earth and an eternal place called "Heaven!")

In our text He controlled (and manipulated) the winds and the waves ... for the good of His people!

He's that kind of God!

He is almighty!  He is omnipotent!  He can do all!

Trust Him ... then sit back and watch!

The "wind" just might start blowing for you too!

Our great God has NOT yet run out of "solutions" to the problems His people face!

He Himself delights in that fact, too!

Listen to Him in Jeremiah 32:27 --- "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?"

No, there isn't!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

I do not mean to sound unkind today.

But when the Bible teaches something clearly and without doubt, that must be repeated!

Troubles will come to the Christian!

Heartaches and trials are part of the growth process as we trust our Heavenly Father.

BUT woe be unto the person who "fights" against God's Own children!

Let me put it this way.

There are just certain folks who are "protected" by the mighty hand of God!

"Widows" fall into that group! 

So do the little "orphans" of this world!

Here's Bible proof.  In Psalm 68:5 (among many other places in the Bible) God is called:  "A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." 

One who wrongs a little fatherless child faces the wrath of a protective Father above!  One who steals from a widow lady may never get "caught" on earth ... but she has a Judge in Heaven Who will avenge her adversaries!

God's Preachers fall into that same protected category!  Twice we are warned: "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."  1st Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15  (Don't ever hurt one of God's men!)

While I do not have the space to elongate this list, I must add one more group, the Israelite people!  The Jews!  God's "chosen" nation!  God even calls them "the apple of His eye!"  Deuteronomy 32:10 and Zechariah 2:8 

When God first promised Abraham that a "nation" would be born from his offspring, a promise was given.  "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."  Genesis 12:3

Now that brings me to the issue at hand.

Israel in Exodus 14 faced the greatest problem of her short history!  There was an enemy army led by a powerful monarch (Pharaoh) who sough to capture and harm the people of God!

They were in a crisis!

But God took care of them!

Later He would say to that nation:  "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn."  Isaiah 54:17 

Here He would just prove it!

Here's how the Lord performed His promise.  "And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.  And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.  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. 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.  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."

Note the penalty for seeking Israel's destruction:  death!

Christian friend, you too belong to a special group!  You are part of a Blood-washed throng!  You're a member of the New Testament Church!  You comprise the Bride of Christ!  He will avenge you also!

If our Lord remembers every thing we do FOR Him (Hebrews 6:10) ... He surely will remember everything done AGAINST us as His children!

And He will make it all right in His time.

He's the One Who said:  "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."  Isaiah 63:4 and Romans 12:19

So ... when your trials come (and come they will) ... trust God, grown in Grace, pray with all your heart, sense His great Presence ... but also do not be surprised if He judges those who have sought to harm you!

It's just part of His "problem control" program!

Let me now offer you some proof. 

When Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the young Church (new believers in Jesus) ... the Lord accused him of persecuting Jesus Himself!  On the day of his conversion, when the Light struck him to the earth somewhere near Damascus, this conversation occurred:  "And he (Saul) fell to the earth, and heard a Voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!"  Acts 9:4-5  (Saul had never literally persecuted Jesus individually!  He did not even know Jesus according to the flesh!  But he sure had given the Church torment!  And Jesus accuses him of doing to HIM, the Lord, what he had done to His Church!)

He who hurts God's people has hurt the Lord personally!  He's the Head ... we are the Body!  That's Scripture!

Christian, through all your trials keep your eyes on Jesus ... BUT don't be surprised if a few of your detractors fall by the wayside, victims of God's judgment.  He still protects His Own children!

Do remember these words of Jesus:  "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."   Matthew 25:40

What a sobering thought!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15:

Once God has brought you through the problem at hand, look around and SEE what His mighty Hand hath wrought!

"Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!"  Numbers 23:23

Savor His mighty Power!

Here's how Moses was led of God to word this:  "Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.  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."  Exodus 14:30-31

It's Biblical to observe what God has done!

"And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts: and I will declare Thy greatness."  Psalm 145:6

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Thy wondrous works."  Psalm 26:7

"Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works."  Psalm 105:2

"Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works."  Psalm 119:27

Then back to Psalm 145:  "I will speak of the glorious honour of Thy majesty, and of Thy wondrous works."

Amen!

Such reviews of God's deliverance will enhance our faith!  Faith that needs to grow ... for future battles!

After all, the mighty God Who has never failed ... is not about to start now!

When life is over and we stand on Heaven's golden shore, we too will say with Paul the Apostle:  "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra (or wherever); what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me."  2nd Timothy 3:11

What a God we have!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16:

Don't forget to say "Thank You!"

How very important that little piece of advice is!

When God brings you through some problem or crisis or "hard" time in life ... don't forget to say "Thank You!"

That's part of God's Plan!  Listen to Him in Psalm 50:15 --- "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."

See that?

After the trouble ... and after the victory ... "Thou shalt glorify Me!"

Now this is exactly what Israel did in Exodus 14!

After she had been miraculously brought through the parted waters of the Red Sea, delivered from the Egyptian army ... she burst into praise!  Praise to her mighty God!

Listen:

"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."  Exodus 15:1

A song of praise has begun!

And it lasts for 21 verses!

Note verse 11 particularly:  "Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"  Now, that's praise!

A quick overview of this peon of praise would look something like this:

1. They praised God's Power!  Verses 1-2

2. They praised God's Character!  Verse 3  ("The Lord is a Man of War!")

3. They praised God's Mighty Acts!  Verses 4-12

4. They praised God's Guidance!  Verse 13

5. They praised God's Influence on the Surrounding Nations!  Verses 14-16a

6. They praised God's Future Plans!  Verses 16b-18

7. And their praise was contagious too!  It spread to others!  Verses 19-21

Had Isaiah already written this beautiful verse, perhaps Israel would have built it into their praise song that joyful day:  "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."  Isaiah 43:2

God's Hand has been upon Israel!

But ... now let's talk about you and me for a minute!

We might not have been through a literal Red Sea, but we have been through problems!

And the same God delivered us!

And we too should praise His dear Name!

"Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses."  Psalm 107:6

Therefore, with the Psalmist, we should say:  "I will praise Thee (Lord): for Thou hast heard me, and art become my Salvation."   Psalm 118:21

Then, remembering what great things God has done for us, our lips should obey Psalm 145:10 --- "All Thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and Thy saints shall bless thee."  

Today think back over your life.

Remember the times He has delivered you!

Then ... praise Him with all your heart!

It's the proper response to His great power!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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