Lucia's Blog: THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND THE EXODUS - PART THREE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND THE EXODUS - PART THREE


 THE EXODUS

The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. They LORD led them by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. They did not journey toward the Mediterranean shores since they were not ready to battle against the mighty Philistines. Instead the LORD led them on a more southerly route. Their ultimate destination was the Promised Land of Canaan.
                                                                             

Back in Egypt Pharaoh was having second thoughts about letting the Israelites go. Thoughts of vengeance entered his heart gathering a chariot-borne army to chase after them. By this time the Israelites were camping next to the Sea of Reeds at Baal Zephon.

THE CROSSING OF THE REED/RED SEA

There has been so much debate over the years in regards to which sea the Israelites crossed and how they crossed it. Traditionally, the name of the sea was translated as "Red Sea," but most recently it has been translated as "Reed Sea." Unfortunately, some skeptic scholars believe the Israelites crossed at the northernmost tip of the Red Sea. These skeptics have theorized that this crossing was not miraculous. They insist that the Egyptian chariots got stuck in the mud while the Israelites waded across a swamp on foot.  But Scripture says that indeed they crossed the Red Sea.


"Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left." Exodus 14:21-22 NASB.

The Parting of the Sea is foundational to the Christian Faith and the Jewish Faith.   It cannot be dismissed or disregarded.  It was a miracle from God.  It was God's ability and determination to save His people. Those who refuse to believe that the Parting of the Sea really happened, also refuse to believe in God's salvation plan for us today.  It required a mighty and significant act of God!


According to the Exodus account, Pharaoh brought six hundred of his best chariots to pursue the Israelites.  He also brought other horses, officers and troops. When the Israelites saw them approaching they cried out to the LORD blaming Moses at the same time.

"Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?  Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'?  For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."  Exodus 14:11-12 NASB.


The LORD told Moses to move the Israelites toward the sea stretching out his hand over the sea. The angel of the LORD and the pillar of cloud started to move between the Egyptians and the Israelites making it hard for the Egyptians to see the Israelites. But God was with them giving them light.  That is amazing!

"Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.  He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”


Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.  The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained." Exodus 14:21-28 NASB.

The Israelites had a hard time trusting in God to save them when they saw the Egyptians closing in behind them. Notice, that the Israelites had become a race of slaves, not fighters or warriors. They had no confidence in their ability to fight the Egyptians and most importantly they were not yet trusting and depending on God through faith to take care of them.

The same God that rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt can also rescue us from our own slavery to sin through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Luci