Last time, we saw that God will glorify himself through the saving of His people.
Very connected to that main point of Exodus 14 and the theme of the whole Bible is that…
There is a spiritual battle going on.
This entire account is one of who was going to rule over whom. Pharaoh insisted that he was the ruler and spiritual head of the slave Israelites.
But God’s insistent hand is more powerful. God does what He says and has the power to follow through on His Word.
All throughout the text, we see references to spiritual matters and aspects of the story. The largest being that God is speaking directly to Moses. Pharaoh was emissary for his gods as well.
And in the ancient world as well as the way that the Bible speaks, wars were seen as spiritual battles as well. If you lost, it meant that your god wasn’t stronger than the opposing god.
And God exerted His power over Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods in very specific timeframes. All night, God was able to push back the Egyptians. But verse 24 mentions that morning was dawning. This was seen as the time when Ra, god of the sun, would be displaying his power with the rising sun. Yet the Egyptians faced even greater panic and distress. That is why they cried out, “Flee… for the LORD fights for them.”
And with Jesus being in the pillar of cloud, and the Father speaking to Moses, where is the Spirit to display the fullness of our Triune God? He is hovering over the waters just like at creation. Verse 21 speaks of a wind, the same word used in Genesis 1. God, all of Him, is present in the saving of His people. And Moses is the great prophet and leader who speaks to God. He is meant to point us to the greater prophet and leader of the church: Jesus.
This is more than armies, this is a spiritual battle. And we are still battling a spiritual battle. The Lord is the Lord of salvation though. And our response should daily be the same as the Israelites:
“Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31)
As you go throughout daily life, do you see the spiritual battle at play? Or do you fall into the temptation of trivializing the spiritual? It’s very easy to just eat, work, sleep without having eyes to see the battle around us. Actually, that’s exactly what Satan wants for us.
But we are to war differently.
Because God is glorifying Himself through the saving of His people…
We have a sureness in our calling.
We don’t fight against sin by simply doing better. Entire groups of people are in hell today because they held to that belief.
We don’t fight sin by cleaning ourselves up or by beating ourselves up.
We are called to be still, yes take responsibility, but ultimately be still.
Tim Chester reminds us that we often seek to control that which isn’t our responsibility. Instead, being still looks more like this:
I’m responsible for being a good parent, but I’m not responsible for the choices of my children — I must leave that to God and be still. I’m responsible for being a good employee, but I’m not responsible for the actions of my boss — I must leave that to God and be still. I’m responsible for telling others the gospel, but I’m not responsible for their salvation — I must leave that to God and be still.
Our calling is to faithfully obey and believe that God is good on His word.
Look at Exodus 14. Three times God gives instruction and calls Moses and the Israelites to obey a specific command. But when it comes to the actual saving, God does everything, specifically without any effort from humans.
He delivered the Israelites by His mighty hand, not the people’s ability to save themselves. The whole point is that He is determined to get the glory by His own power. We can’t add anything to His work. We can be a part of it, but we don’t increase it.
We are called to tell others about His work though. We have the greatest testimony of all time. We are wicked and undeserving. But God gives us a new heart and saves us from eternal wrath in His Son Jesus. He adds us, His former enemies, into His own family, and we gain an eternal inheritance. This is good news for all!
Do not be more aware of what the lost world is liable to do to us than we are of the promises God has given us. Lord, give us Jesus and give us the boldness to bring Him to everyone else!
We have a sureness in our future
And just like the Israelites were never in any actual danger, as God’s people today neither are we. We may experience persecution and even execution in this life for the sake of Christ, but not a single human hand can change the course of our eternity in Christ. God simply won’t allow it.
This ought to comfort us greatly. God will not give us back up to our sin. He pursues after us. He protects us through His Word and the Spirit’s conviction.
And before we struggle too greatly with the difficulties of life and temptation to sin that we face so often. Let these words remind us that just as God is not done with the Israelites yet, He’s not done with us yet either.
Mackay says it like this:
Salvation does not ordinarily lead straight to glory: there is still on earth a preparatory process that the LORD leads His people through to make them ready for their full enjoyment of the inheritance.
So let us see the great power that the LORD used against our sin, let us fear Him, let us believe in the LORD and in Christ our Savior.