Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part I: God's Deliverance Of Israel Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
U. God's Honoring Himself By An Overpowering Victory In An Overwhelming Trial
(Exodus 14:1-31)
  1. Introduction
    1. Humanly overwhelming trials offer God a great opportunity to glorify Himself before all those involved!
    2. What Israel faced in her trial at the Red Sea illustrates this truth so very well and extensively (as follows):
  2. God's Honoring Himself By An Overpowering Victory In An Overwhelming Trial, Exodus 14:1-31.
    1. When Israel left Egypt, she lacked the faith in God necessary to make war with the Canaanites and thus to take the land God had for them (Ex. 13:17), so God led her on a circuitous route to the Red Sea, 13:18.
    2. Yet, God wasted no time in seeking to teach Israel to trust Him re: conflict with Gentiles: He told Moses He would lead Israel to be pinned against the Red Sea by Pharaoh so she might need His help, 14:1-4a.
    3. However, God also wanted to use this trial for Israel to glorify Himself before the Egyptians, Ex. 14:4b!.
    4. When God arranged for this humanly overwhelming trial to arise, both the people of Israel and Moses saw their faith in God and human might completely evaporate, Exodus 14:5-12, 13-15:
      1. Moses knew God's plan in the trial from God's words back in Exodus 14:2-4, so he spoke words of encouragement that Israel trust the Lord, Exodus 14:5-12 with 13-14.
      2. However, he privately cried out to God himself: the verb in Exodus 14:15a that is translated "criest thou" (KJV) is in the masculine singular form (tisaq) [Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 100], so God responded to Moses' OWN personal cry, meaning not only Israel, but also Moses lacked faith in God!
    5. Thus, when Israel and Moses were distressed for their lives, God overpoweringly saved them, 14:16-30:
      1. God told Moses to stretch out his rod and part the Red Sea so Israel could cross it, Exodus 14:16-18.
      2. Then, the Pre-incarnate Christ, the Angel of the Lord Who had gone before them in the cloud, moved back to give darkness to the Egyptians so they could not come near Israel all night long, 14:19-20.
      3. When Moses stretched out his rod to part the sea, God both parted the sea into two giant sea walls and sent an east wind to dry the bed so Israel could cross on dry ground throughout that night, 14:21-22!
      4. When God let the Egyptians pursue Israel into the seabed, He caused problems to arise with the chariot wheels, and the Egyptians recognized they were in trouble and tried to flee for their lives, 14:23-25!
      5. However, God had Moses stretch out his rod again to bring the walls of water crashing back down upon Pharaoh's hosts so that the Egyptians were traumatically overpowered and killed, Ex. 14:26-28!
    6. The effect of this divine deed at the Red Sea was the glorification of God before the surrounding nations:
      1. First, right at death, the Egyptian soldiers recognized God's power, and tried to flee from it, Ex. 14:25.
      2. Then, Israel's witness of this event was to fear God and trust in Him and in His servant, Moses, 14:31!
      3. We also learn from Rahab that other lands feared Israel's God as the Creator by this event, Jos. 2:9-11!
Lesson: God arranged for Moses and Israel to get into a humanly overwhelming trial that He might show His overpowering might and will to save them, bringing great glory to Himself before all men.

Application: (1) May we trust God's power and good intentions in all trials, especially in the humanly overwhelming ones! (2) May we also trust God's use of trials in our lives to glorify Himself before even unsaved onlookers! (3) God used Moses' rod as the instrument to solve Israel's overwhelming Red Sea trial, cf. Ex. 14:16, 21-22, 26-27. As that rod was the instrument God had told Moses in his call to his ministry in Exodus 4:1-2 that he was to use to lead Israel, and that against a great human challenge to the contrary as MOSES viewed it, and as that rod had been often used by God in Moses' involvement in the past miraculous plagues of Egypt (Ex. 7:19; 8:5; 8:16; 9:23; 10:13), expect God to (a) settle great trials based on the PRECEDENTS of His past help to us, (b) and focus on using the spiritual gift He has given us in present trials (Rom. 12:3, 6-8 et al.). (4) As God let Israel face the overwhelming Red Sea trial to BEGIN to teach her to trust Him to handle WAR in Canaan, we should focus on the lesson God has for us in a present overwhelming trial as He is preparing us for greater works to come! (5) God's judgment to drown the Egyptian men in the Red Sea was a fitting response for Pharaoh's call to drown Israel's sons in the Nile, Ex. 1:22; we can expect God to deal effectively with our unjust foes!