Exodus 14:21-31; 15:1-3, 20-21
Genuine believers in the Bible as the inspired Word of God do not doubt or question its historical accuracy. Those people who cast doubt upon or try to explain away the Scriptural accounts of miracles do have a problem, but the problem is in themselves, not in the Bible. If they ever get genuinely acquainted with the God of the Bible, if they ever get in right relationship with Him, they will learn to accept the truth of His Word.
Heathen gods of human imagination have no power to do anything; but the God of the Bible, the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, can do what He will, where He will, when He will, and as He will. Talk of the "laws of nature" in this connection is silly and irrelevant. Creatures are subject to natural law, but the Creator of what we call nature still has complete control of His creation.
"By faith they (the Israelites) passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned" [Hebrews 11:29]. That sums up this lesson beautifully.
Apart from historical interest, Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage may serve as an illustration of the spiritual deliverance of the born-again believer from the bondage of sin. Lesson outline follows: 1. Protection, Exodus 14:21-22. a. Wind over waters, 21. b. Walls of waters, 22.
2. Perdition, Exodus 14:23-28. a. Destroyers demented, 23. b. Destroyers deterred, 24-25. c. Destroyers destroyed, 26-28.
3. Passage, Exodus 14:29-31. a. Salvation seen, 29-30. b. Salvation's stimulus, 31.
4. Praise, Exodus 15:1-3, 20-21. a. Song of Moses, 1-3. b. Song of Miriam, 20-21.
NOTES ON THE TEXT: PROTECTION, Exodus 14:21-22. When it is God's purpose to deliver His people, He is well able to protect them from their enemies. If sometimes the enemy seems to prevail, it is only by divine permission in order to a greater manifestation of divine mercy in the later salvation of those under oppression who call upon Him. At the time of our lesson it was God's announced purpose to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and the Egyptians were pursuing them to take them back into slavery. Too bad for the Egyptians! Wind over Waters, 21. God used "a strong east wind" to divide the waters and to dry the bottom of the sea. God can do anything He chooses to do, with or without any means, as He pleases. In this case He was pleased to use the wind. Walls of Waters, 22. So by a divine miracle the children of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea. The waters forming a wall on each side protected them from any possible flanking attacks by the Egyptians.
PERDITION, Exodus 14:23-28. Enemies of God would, if they could, cast Him down from His throne and usurp His authority. Failing this, they persecute and seek to destroy His people. One of the names of Satan is the Destroyer, and his followers seek to destroy all that is good and holy. But they are themselves appointed to perdition. Destroyers Demented, 23. Rebellious sinners naturally become more and more rebellious, more and more sinful, unless touched by God's saving grace. Their natural response to divine warnings and temporal judgments is simply a further hardening of the heart in demented determination to do evil. It might be supposed that after the ten plagues of Egypt, culminating in the death of the firstborn, Pharaoh should have learned enough of the power and wrath of God to let God's people go. But lost sinners are not spiritually rational. As with Pharaoh, even when they seem to repent it is only that they may do greater evil later if they think it is in their power to do it. The madness of sin robs them of their reason. Destroyers Deterred, 24-25. Having pursued Israel in the miraculously opened path in the midst of the sea, the Egyptians suddenly found themselves in trouble. Recognizing again that the Lord was on Israel's side, the Egyptians were deterred from the pursuit and resolved to flee. Destroyers Destroyed, 26-28. But Pharaoh had proved himself incorrigible. If God had permitted him to return to Egypt, no doubt he would soon have been preparing an expeditionary force to attack Israel in the wilderness. The time had come that the destroyers must be destroyed, not only because they deserved it, but also as an object lesson to the enemies of God's people thereafter. And so "the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea."
PASSAGE, Exodus 14:29-31. Resuming the account of Israel's passage, we are reminded that it was for the sake of the temporal salvation of God's chosen people that the waters were divided. Salvation Seen, 29-30. Verse 29 is almost a repetition of verse 22. The repeated statement that "the waters were a wall" seems plain enough; there is no good reason to try to explain it away. "Thus" -- exactly as stated in the Scripture -- "the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians." As already noted, the salvation of Israel involved the death of its enemies, "and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore." Salvation Stimulus, 31. No longer was Pharaoh's army to be feared. We are not surprised to read that "the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses." After that experience of miraculous salvation how could they respond otherwise?
PRAISE, Exodus 15:1-3, 20-21. We ought always to be praising God, but expressions of praise are especially in order as we rejoice in experiences of His salvation and other blessings. Israel's passage through the Red Sea was certainly an occasion for eloquent praise, as recorded in this chapter. Song of Moses, 1-3. Quotations from this song of Moses are found frequently in later Scriptures. To all who put their trust in Him, God is the source of all our strength and the theme of our song. Not only does He gives us salvation; He personally is our salvation. "Lord" here is properly printed in small capitals in the King James version, showing that the Word stands for the Hebrew name Jehovah. Surely Jehovah is our God and the God of our fathers in the faith; let us exalt Him. Moses no doubt referred to the tabernacle when he said, "I will prepare him an habitation." Let us in our turn prepare our individual hearts and our churches for a fuller indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. "Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name." Too many people who claim to be Christians do not know and are unwilling to believe in this aspect of the God of the Bible. Son of Miriam, 20-21. Miriam's song was much shorter than that of Moses, and we are specifically told that she was accompanied by the other women "with timbrels and with dances." Apparently in this celebration by the women the music was more prominent than the message. Dancing of women only apart from men or of men only apart from women as a simple expression of joy is entirely different from lewd and obscene social dancing, which is an abomination in the sight of God.
CONCLUSION [Exodus 15:11] Of course, no creature, real or imaginary, is like the true and living God, Jehovah, Creator of all. "Holiness" is simply separateness. The idea is that God is separate and apart from all other being. He alone is eternally self-existent and perfect in all His attributes. "Fearful in praises" suggests that even as we praise Him we are to hold Him in awe and reverence. "Doing wonders" reminds us that nothing is impossible with Him; He is the God of miracles. ==============[From Ashland Avenue Baptist paper, June 24, 1977, pp. 2-3. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
More Brong OT Lessons
Baptist History Homepage