Exodus 14:1-14 is the background for the message. There are results of unbelief. Faith in God leads to victory. We sing the song “Victory in Jesus” and there is still victory in him. Unbelief is not wholesome and leads to defeat.
In this story there were 600 war chariots after the children of Israel, the best that an army of that day could have. They were between the mountain and the sea. They had just witnessed what God can do through the plagues of Egypt, particularly the final one. There the firstborn of every man and beast died if the blood of a lamb was not applied to the doorposts of the home. That protected Israel. How soon they forgot. Yet how soon we forget what God can do. We’re like them in many ways. From man’s point of view they were in a hopeless and helpless predicament. Even the power of the Egyptians was no match for the power of God. God did destroy the chariots and the soldiers. Let’s look at a few things.
Verse 10: 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.
Looking back: Israel thought they were doomed. But remember God can get you through any situation. Their response was fear. They whined in despair. Where was their faith in God? We must drop anchor in the Lord. He can still get his people through. We know he provided Israel manna and water and won many battles for them. God was on their side. Any battle can be won when it is fought by God. Faith looks forward and upward. Unbelief looks backward and downward. Looking back will get us all in trouble. What is there to look back to? If you don’t think looking back is bad, remember this short verse: “remember Lot’s wife.” Looking back cost her her life.
Fearfulness: When they saw the Egyptians they were afraid. That was needless. God was still in control. He was then and he still is. Nothing ever takes God by surprise. Fearfulness leads to being fretful. The people cried to the Lord. That’s always the best thing to do when your back is against the wall. Don’t fret. This wasn’t a cry of trust but one of fretfulness. We battle the devil daily; we will overcome through the Lord.
Verses 11-12: And they 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.
Self-pity: Fretfulness will lead to self-pity. They said they had been better off in Egypt. They forgot the slavery and their crying to the Lord for deliverance from the bondage. Moses was sent to deliver them. How soon they forgot. We’re not far from that today. They felt sorry for themselves because of their current situation. The self-pity led to intolerance. They quarreled with Moses. They said they preferred the servitude over the current difficulty. The intolerance led to discouragement. When you get discouraged, bad things begin to happen. This can turn us back to sin if we’re not careful. Keep going on and trust the Lord.
Verses 13-14: And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
In everything we see salvation. Moses told them to stand still and see it. It’s on the other side. Hold on. Israel in later years had to cross Jordan to reach their promised land. There was still sin there and battles to fight. When we cross our “Jordan” to heaven, we’ll never see sin again. No more devil. No battles to fight. The best is yet to come.
Hang on. Trust God.