8th March 2023
Read - Exodus 13:17-14:21, Hebrews 11:29
Message Alan Burke
God’s people are in a bit of a pickle, ok it wasn’t a bit of a pickle they were up the creek without a paddle, they had the Egyptian army on their tail and the Red Sea before them, the Lord had let his people be cornered. Remember this wasn’t an accident, a lack of forward planning by the Lord God himself, no it was the Lord that had put his people here. Even if we were coming to this passage for the first time we’d have a fair incline already that Pharaoh was going to have changed his mind and that taking the longer route that left them cornered was going to be a bad idea. Even though God’s people had seen with their own eyes the signs and wonders that he had done in Egypt and how he had redeemed them from their slavery in the midst of the situation they find themselves the people long for their slavery once more. They ask Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?” (4:10).
In the midst of what they had faced they forgot the Lord who had revealed himself to them, the one whom they knew could be trusted, who was faithful to his word, they in the midst of their suffering longed for a better life, a life in slavery. Bear in mind that the Lord was visibly present among his people as this took place, in the cloud and the pillar of fire. In the midst of this we learn something, the Israelites well they had been brought out of Egypt by the Lord himself, but the fear of what was before them made them long for the difficulties of yesterday. Slavery in Egypt was favourable to what they now faced. The fear that gripped them had erased any sense of the presence of God, visibly manifest to them in the cloud and the pillar of fire, they could only see their fear. The doubts and fears of this rebellious people against God are one of those themes that pervades the book of Exodus (5:21; 15:24; 16:3; 17:2; 32:1). And although God knew what he was doing the people most of the time just didn’t get it, they didn’t believe it.
With their doubting, their looking back to their slavery which to them seemed a better option than what they now faced, Moses answers them and suffice to say Moses is saying “trust me”. I don’t know about you but I have trust issues, just make me a passenger in a car and you’ll see them clearly displayed. What Moses is telling them to do is trust them with their lives. Here in the midst of pharaoh and his army behind them, the Red Sea before them, God’s people were learning that salvation is entirely the work of God. For there was nothing that they could do to save themselves, likewise there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves for salvation from beginning to end is the work of God and in it He gains the glory. The Lord told Moses what to do, he stretched out his arms as the Lord had told him, and that night the Lord drove the sea back with an east wind so that the ground was dry and the people crossed, the Egyptians were destroyed.
God doesn’t leave or forsake His people, we may face trials, the grass may seem greener on the other side, but the Lord is at work in the midst of it all. For us over time as our faith grows we will more and more learn to rely on the Lord and His word. In what lies ahead imperfect as you are, imperfect as I am know that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6), you may face many obstacles along the way but we must trust the Lord in it all, salvation is his work and he will bring it to completion no matter what trials or temptations we face.
Q95 To whom is baptism to be administered?
Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; (Acts 8:36–38, Acts 2:38) but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized. (Acts 2:38–39, Gen. 17:10, Col. 2:11–12, 1 Cor. 7:14)