Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord
In America, at least to this point, Christians have been safe and secure in their religious life. We have been allowed to worship freely, believe in the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation, and to openly proclaim that anywhere and everywhere.
Now of course, with our current leadership, that is quickly changing. Our president is hostile to our faith and he is hostile to the values which established this country which are based on our faith. For us, the road will probably become difficult and we may face times of great trouble if we are willing to continue in our walk with the Lord.
His treasonous acts aside, this has been the standard for many of the world’s Christians all along. They have had to choose between Christ and death and between the kingdom of Christ and that of the world. And for many the choice was easy – “I choose Jesus.”
For others, their religion is only as strong as the next threat they face. In the movie, The Kingdom of Heaven, the Bishop and Patriarch of Jerusalem was faced with death as the muslim forces under Saladin came against the city. His words to the knight defending the city were, “Convert now, repent later.” The knight’s response was, “You’ve taught me a lot about religion, your Eminence.”
Today’s verses partially encompass a chiasm I found about seven years ago. The middle, or anchor, of that chiasm contains the words, “Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians.” Israel had seen the ten plagues, they had received release from their bondage, they had been directed by a pillar of cloud and fire, and yet, as soon as they start to face a minor threat in comparison to the works they had seen, they lose faith and begin to accuse Moses.
Is this the strength of your faith? To what extent are you willing to stand up for Jesus Christ? Millions and millions of Christians have been willing to die for Him and they will receive their reward. They continue to be slaughtered even now around the world due to the outright negligence, and belligerence against the Christian, by the president of the US.
And if he gets his way, we will soon face the same under him in our own land. What will be your answer? Will you be like the Bishop of Jerusalem and say, “Convert now, repent later?” Or will you be like Clint Eastwood and say “Go ahead, make my day!”? Me, “Send me home to Abba! Go ahead, make my day!”
Text Verse: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9
Salvation is of the Lord – from the beginning to the end. This is what the Bible proclaims. He saves us despite ourselves, and He continues to save us despite ourselves. And… He will carry us to His heavenly home. All who come to Him will be saved. Have faith in that and should your faith be tested, even to death, tell them to “Bring it on – I have a promise which is found in God’s superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Salvation of the Lord (verses 10-14)
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them.
The last verse we looked at last week said –
“So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.” Exodus 14:9
This then explains the layout of the situation to us. They are at the Sea at a place called “the mouth of the gorges.” What this means is that there was a body of water too large to traverse to the east. There were gorges to the west, implying a mountain range. And even if there was a highway which continued down along the banks of the Red Sea, it would have been narrow.
A flight for 2 million or so people would have meant that they would be cut down by the pursuing Egyptians as they fled. Further, there are eventually mountains which come right up to the sea along the coast. And so they would be blocked from a further flight south. This is the setting and the battle conditions in which they found themselves.
In all ways, they had their proverbial backs against the wall and the Egyptian army was coming. In other words, under normal circumstances, it is an impossible situation. There would be no exit and there would only be the expectation of death or re-capture.
10 (con’t) So they were very afraid,
One question that some scholars have thrown out in order to diminish the truth of the Bible concerning the recorded numbers of people that the Exodus accounts claim is, “How could a group of people consisting of 603,550 fighting aged men be ‘very afraid’ of an army which could be no more than a third that size?”
Supposedly, there would actually be no comparison in the size of the force and it would seem that Israel would easily overcome and destroy Egypt. There are a multitude of reasons why this is more than an unsound attack against the narrative.
First, it is Israel who is boxed in with no real means of escape. Secondly, Israel is hampered by the fact that they have children, the aged, women, animals, and supplies to deal with.
Third, Israel would have been unarmed, Egypt would have been heavily armed, wearing military garments, and possessing chariots. Fourth, Israel was unaccustomed to battle; the Egyptians were highly trained soldiers, prepared for war.
The history of warfare is replete with smaller forces destroying larger forces because of training, available weapons, and experience. As I said, under any normal circumstances this was an impossible situation. But these were not normal circumstances as the next words show us…
10 (con’t) and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.
The very fact that Israel “cried out to the Lord” shows that they felt these were not normal circumstances concerning their plight. Rather, they were normal circumstances concerning their faith. Their plight was completely under control; their faith was completely out of control.
Those who knew that the Lord was capable of helping took advantage of the moment to call on Him. Those who didn’t cried out to Him in anguish. As Matthew Henry says about this –
“Some cried out unto the Lord; their fear led them to pray, and that was well. God brings us into straits, that he may bring us to our knees.” Henry
Crying out to the Lord doesn’t always mean that strong faith is present. It simply means that there is nowhere else to cry out to. It is no different than the atheist who cries out “O God” when their child is dying at the scene of a car accident. Sometimes, the straits we face are a means of molding the little faith we do have.
Apparently though, Israel did not learn this, but instead redirected what should have been faith in God into anger at God’s messenger.
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?
There is an irony in these words which needs to be considered. Egypt was steeped in the worship of the dead. The bodies of the Egyptians were mummified as a means of obtaining eternal life. The graves of the Egyptians then were considered the place where life continued.
Egypt was a land full of tombs, and there was a necropolis in every city. Rather than such a place of burial in the “land of the tombs,” Israel felt they would perish in the wilderness. It shows a forgetfulness of the promises made to the patriarchs and those which were repeated to them by the Lord through Moses.
It also shows the absurd nature of having brought up the bones of the patriarchs from Egypt. If it was the great place of hope and promise that they are implying, then it would have been better to leave the bones there.
Further, it cannot be said that they have faith in the Lord but lacked faith in Moses because of his bad choice of leading them to their present location. Scholars attempt to find this a reasonable explanation, but it is not. In Exodus 13, it said –
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” Exodus 13:21, 22
In just a few more verses, it will acknowledge that the pillar is still there with them at this time. The Lord is leading Moses and Moses is following Him ahead of the people. An attack on Moses then is an attack against the leading of the Lord.
Although a seeming diversion from the present plight, it is not unjustified to say that those who rebel against the properly taught word of the Lord are really only rebelling against the Lord. If for no other reason than to ensure that you know your Bible, it is a good enough one there to soberly consider doing so.
11 (con’t) Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?
These words show a complete failure to remember the events of the previous days. They observed the Passover; they were entirely spared and yet Egypt collectively suffered and mourned. While they were leaving the land in the moonlight, the shrieks and howls of death would have permeated the night air.
At that time, the joy of ending the pain, toil, and bondage was fresh on their minds. Now, just a couple days since then, they have forgotten that they willingly marched with Moses and did so with all their possessions and with the promise that the Lord would be with them. And He was, as evidenced by the pillar they followed.
12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’?
Lange says, “The exaggeration of their recollection of a doubt formerly expressed reaches the pitch of falsehood.”
In other words, the people are mis-remembering and even lying concerning the situation. In Exodus 4 when Moses presented himself to the people with the signs from the Lord, this was recorded –
“So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” Exodus 4:31
It is true that after that, times became difficult, but there is no record at all of them asking Moses to leave them alone in order to serve the Egyptians. There were times when they wouldn’t heed Moses. Another time, the officers were angry with him, but they are never recorded as desiring to continue to serve the Egyptians.
As a point of interest, this portion of verse 12 is obviously very important to understand because a chiasm centers on its words. I came across this one in 2008 and it shows a picture of those who would rather serve the world than the Lord.
In other words, it is a classic picture of those who are called, who turn back to the world, and yet whom the Lord still delivers because of His immense love and mercy –
Exodus 13:21-14:20 – In the Wilderness (4/23/08)
Miracles and Complaints
a 13:21, 22 The pillar of cloud/fire led the way.
b 14:4 Harden Pharaoh’s heart to gain honor over him.
c 14:9 Israel lifted their eyes and were very afraid.
d 14:11 …to die in the wilderness
e 14:11 Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?
f 14:12 Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians
e 14:12 It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians
d 14:12 … we should die in the wilderness.
c 14:13 Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.
b 14:17 Harden Egyptians hearts to gain honor over Pharaoh and all his army.
a 14:19, 20 The pillar of cloud went behind them.
12 (con’t) For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
For those who do not know Christ, service to the devil appears better than death in obscurity. The Lord needs to remove this from them. If His miracles and wonders on Egypt were enough to convince them of who He is, then bringing them to their present straits would not have been needed.
But the people still lacked resolve in following the Lord because they still lacked sound faith in Him. When one knows the Lord, even death in obscurity is but a sweet moment of rest. Better to die in the wilderness than to continue life in Egypt. But the Lord intends neither for these people at this time…
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid.
In contrast to the cries and complaints of the people, Moses stands firm and provides a series of thoughts which resonate throughout the rest of Scripture. He first gives words of fortitude, al tirau – “Do not be afraid.”
The first time these words were spoken was by the Lord to Abraham in Genesis 15:1. They are spoken time and again throughout both Testaments, and are spoken the last time to John when he received his vision from the Lord in Revelation 1:17.
Throughout the Bible, the people of God are admonished to not be in fear, but to trust the Lord. Moses repeats these words now to the fearful masses of Israel.
13 (con’t) Stand still,
hityasvu – “stand still.” The words here are intended to refocus the individual away from self to something or someone else. Instead of necessary action by the person, there will be peace for them while action is taken for the person. There was no need to flee away or to move towards action. They could simply stand fast…
13 (con’t) and see the salvation of the Lord,
ureu eth yeshuat Yehovah. This is now the second time in the Bible that the word yeshua has been used. The first time was in Genesis 49 during Jacob’s blessing of his sons. There, after blessing Dan and before blessing Gad, he cried out –
“I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!” Genesis 49:18
Jacob anticipated Yeshua, now Moses promises Yeshua. Salvation would come and it would come from the Lord. The word Yeshua is the Hebrew name of Jesus. Thus, this verse is both a prophetic picture and a prophetic pun.
In picture, the Lord would work salvation for Israel – a salvation which Paul explains in 1 Corinthians pictures the work of Christ. In prophetic pun, these words say, “…and see the Jesus of Yehovah.” It is an anticipation of the incarnation of Jesus Christ when the Lord came to dwell among men.
13 (con’t) which He will accomplish for you today.
The promise is made – there would be no defeat in a hopeless battle, there would be no long siege against the people, and there would be no putting off for later what was coming. The Lord would act and it would be hayom – “today.” The act would come and it would be complete in its scope…
13 (con’t) For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
The promise here is better worded as Young’s translates it – “As ye have seen the Egyptians to-day.” In other words, “You shall never see the Egyptians in the same way” again (Barnes). The reason for this is that they will see the Egyptians again. They will see them dead on the shores of the Red Sea, and they will encounter Egypt in the future, but they will never see them in this manner again.
Israel will be perfectly delivered from Egypt once and forever, and it would be without any further delay.
The faith of Moses in this verse is repeated by King Jehoshaphat of Judah many hundreds of years later. In fact his words to the people before a great army which was coming against them are so similar to those of Moses that it seems he was recalling this very account of the Exodus to inspire the people. These are his words –
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
Jehoshaphat trusted the Lord with the same faith as Moses and he was rewarded for that faith. The enemies were destroyed and the people of Judah, without having engaged in the battle at all, were able to plunder the dead of an immense amount of wealth.
14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.
Moses promises that while Israel stands still, the Lord will act on their behalf. The Hebrew word for “shall hold your peace” signifies not just silence in speech, but a complete cessation of action as well. Everything about the words in verses 13 and 14 shows that salvation is of the Lord, from the beginning to the end.
Moses has shown them that they will not participate in their salvation, and that the Lord will work independently of any help of any kind. There is no part in the honor of what happens to be ascribed to the people. Instead it is a work of the Lord alone.
These two verses for Israel picture the process of salvation in the individual believer in Christ. They can be summed up perfectly in the words of Paul found in Ephesians 2 –
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9
Israel did nothing to merit the favor of the Lord and they did nothing to secure their salvation from the bonds of Egypt. Instead, He did everything, thus setting the pattern of salvation for all of humanity.
Israel seemed hemmed in by land, sea, and Pharaoh and yet the Lord delivered them. Humans are hemmed in by sin, corruption, and the devil and yet the Lord is there to deliver us. As Matthew Henry says about this –
“If God brings his people into straits, he will find a way to bring them out.” Matthew Henry
Moses, why have you brought us out here?
We have nowhere to go and the enemy is on his way
This is the end of us now we fear
Yes, our end has come this very day
Were there no graves left in Egypt for us to die there?
Did we need to come to this place to be buried?
We’re stuck at this spot by the sea and you don’t seem to care
Are there ships coming by which we can be ferried?
Don’t not be afraid, instead stand still
See the salvation of the Lord; a marvelous work indeed
The sight you see will be bring the greatest thrill
He shall deliver you and He shall do it with speed
II. So I will Gain Honor Over Pharaoh (verses 15-18)
15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?
The words here perplex scholars because there is no prayer or anguish noted as stemming from Moses. And yet, these words suddenly appear. And so scholars insert an “unspoken prayer” of Moses, or even a spoken prayer while he was alone talking to the Lord. But I believe this is unnecessary.
There is no reason to assume that the Lord is speaking to Moses about Moses. The word “cry” is singular and so it appears to be Moses who is crying to the Lord, but Moses is the representative of the people. Therefore, their cumulative cry of verse 10 is equated to the singular cry of Moses.
In Joshua 7, something similar appears. One of the people of Israel had committed a transgression and because of it all of Israel was judged through defeat in battle. In verse 6 it says,
“Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.” Joshua 7:6
Later in verse 10, the Lord spoke to Joshua as the representative of the people –
“So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?” Joshua 7:10
Though all of the elders were on their face before the ark, the Lord only spoke to Joshua; it is in the singular. And in order to get them to act, we read this in verse 13 –
“Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.'” Joshua 7:13
The Lord directed Joshua to turn the petitions of the elders into action. The same was true with his predecessor Moses. The two accounts are similar and yet they have contrasts. One was based on a lack of the faith of the people concerning the ability of the Lord. The other was based on disobedience to the word of the Lord.
One was prior to their salvation from the Egyptians and the giving of the law. The other was after their reception of the law and being brought into the covenant. The people’s lack of faith could be compared to Peter’s lack of faith before the crucifixion. And the willful act of the offender in Joshua could be compared to Ananias and Sapphira after the giving of the Holy Spirit.
Joshua was there to witness both in the Old Testament; Peter was there for both in the New. The two accounts contrast and yet they confirm that when action is necessary, action is expected. Thus the Lord tells Moses to act, just as He will say the same to Joshua later.
15 (con’t) Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
The explanation for these words will be realized in the next verse. The congregation was to pack up its camp and march to the very shore of the sea. It is as if they were to expect a fleet of ships to come and pick them up, taking them to safety.
But if that is what they thought, they would be wrong. What would occur would be much more marvelous than the assistance of a fleet of ships from a distant land.
16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.
The rod, or matteh, is the rod of God which Moses has carried with him all along. It was there on the sacred mountain with him, it was later presented to the Israelites and then to Pharaoh. It was used to strike the land, the waters, and the heavens with plagues against Egypt. And now he is asked to stretch it out once again.
This time, it would be over the sea. The rod symbolizes the power of God because it bears the authority of the one it represents. Moses represented the Lord because he bore His rod. Thus the power to effect the miracle was present with him.
In stretching the rod over the sea, the sea would then be divided. The word of the Lord will become a reality through the action.
16 (con’t) And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
Of these words, Benson says –
“The same power could have congealed the waters for them to pass over, but infinite Wisdom chose rather to divide the waters for them to pass through, for that way of salvation is always pitched upon which is most humbling.” Joseph Benson
Although I agree that the Lord could have congealed the waters so that they could have been walked over, I don’t fully agree with his reasoning. It wasn’t just more humbling to walk through the waters than over them. It was a miracle 1) which would be remembered more poignantly; 2) it would require more faith to walk between walls of water than over a solid mass; and 3) it is intended to make a picture of the work of Christ. As Paul notes in 1 Corinthians –
“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2
Above all, baptism is an act of faith – “I believe Christ died for me and I am following Him in His burial.” The people required faith in the Lord’s continued sustaining power over the walls of water on either side of them.
They were to engage in a type of baptism by walking through the sea as they did. And there is also a parallel here to the creation account itself. The word for “dry ground” is yabbashah. It was first used in Genesis 1:9 where it says –
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so.” Genesis 1:9
Out of the chaos of the seas would come the order and firmness of the dry ground through an act of creation. Likewise, out of the chaos of the sea would come order and firmness of the dry ground in an act of redemption. As always in the Bible the pattern is consistent, there is creation and then there is redemption.
17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them.
This is the last time that the term “harden” is used in the Exodus account. The last time it was used only of Pharaoh in verse 8, but now it is being applied to the hearts of the Egyptians as well. The Lord is stating that He will be the one to harden their hearts.
However, the means of that hardening has to be drawn out from the context of the passage. And it is a context which shows that it is the form of the miracle by the Lord which drew the Egyptians into following Israel.
In other words, it will be an act of the Lord which passively draws Egypt in. They will exercise their own free will, heading into the waters of destruction. The Lord simply knew that they would follow this avenue. And there is a specific reason for this which is again repeated…
17 (con’t) So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.
The word for “honor” here is kaved. It indicates honor, glory, or acclaim, but it comes from the idea of weight or heaviness. In this then, there is a certain pun going on. The Lord will receive glory over Pharaoh and his people, but it will come from the crushing weight of the seas that come down upon them
18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
This verse takes us first back to Exodus 7 –
“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” Exodus 7:3-5
This was later further defined earlier in this chapter –
“Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.” Exodus 14:4
The logical progression of what has been spoken is coming to its fulfillment. The Lord has incrementally worked through these many chapters to slowly reveal His glory. It is a marvelous study of wisdom. In fact, it is brilliant. But what else could one expect from the mind and the secret counsels of the Lord!
Moses, get the people up and tell them to go!
Forward! Even to the edge of the sea
There a marvelous miracle to you I will show
A mighty deed which will set the people free
They won’t have to swim or sail on a boat
Nor will they walk on the water, that is reserved for Me
But they will cross over… No not with a rubber ducky float
Just lift up your rod and stretch it out over the sea
The waters will be divided and they will pass through
It will be as if on dry ground, don’t you believe Me?
A marvelous thing for Israel I will do
By the strength of My hand I will divide the Red Sea
III. From Guide to Guard – Safety in the Lord (verses 19-20)
19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them;
In Exodus 13:21, it said that the Lord, meaning Yehovah, went before the people in the pillar. Now He is called malakh ha’elohim. Literally, he is called the Angel of “the” God. There is a definite article in front of God which hasn’t been seen for 10 chapters.
There is specificity which is asking to be considered, not passed over. In Exodus 3:2, the Angel of Yehovah appeared in the burning bush. Then in Exodus 3:6 and 3:11 He is called ha’elohim, “the God.” The words are not random, but are particularly used to highlight that the Angel of Yehovah is the Angel of the God and that He is Yehovah and that He is God. And finally, we are shown that there is only one God and He is it.
With Israel now placed directly in front of the sea, and with their inability to go forward any further at this time, the “Angel of the God” who is the Lord, now moves behind the camp to protect them from their enemies. When the seas are parted, they will not need Him to lead them as it will be the only means of egress. And instead of their front guide, He now becomes their rear guard.
The same type of interchangeable names and concepts for the Lord are found in the words of Isaiah –
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8
In those Isaiah verses, He is called both the Lord and the God of Israel, and He is both the One who goes before the people and the One who is their rear guard. In picture, He is Jesus who went before us in death and who will come behind us until we have reached our heavenly shore. We are always cared for as protected people of God because of the presence of the Lord.
19 (con’t) and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.
Some scholars try to distinguish the Lord from the pillar of cloud by separating the two clauses of this verse. This is not correct. The two clauses are parallel and the entities are synonymous. The Lord is represented by the pillar of cloud.
When the invisible Lord moves, the visible manifestation of His presence moves with Him. This is comparable to the burning bush which Moses beheld. The light which emanated from it was intended for Moses to see and understand. The same is true with the pillar for Israel and against Egypt.
20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel.
The word “it” should not be used here. The Lord is not an “it” and the context shows that both the Lord and the pillar are being referred to. Rather, the word v’yabo simply means “and came.” That may sound nitpicky on my part, but context drives translation and the context is that this is the Lord revealed in the cloud.
It must have been an incredible sight for the Israelites to see the cloud move from the sea to their rear guard and come to rest between them and the Egyptians, but it was another saving grace as they are being prepared for their final step of the exodus.
*20 (fin) Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.
This entire verse can be translated without the word “it.” Young’s does an excellent job in his literal translation of it –
…and cometh in between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and the cloud and the darkness are, and he enlighteneth the night, and the one hath not drawn near unto the other all the night.” YLT
Young’s thoughtful translation of these words shows both a sense of the splendor of the Lord and His ability to use the same medium to work for the benefit of one group and to the detriment of the other. John Lange shows a spiritual connotation to the physical description of the words of this verse –
“That which gives light to the believers constitutes nocturnal darkness for the unbelievers; and that is the irremovable barrier between the two.” Lange
This is a truth which is seen more and more in the world today. As the end times have certainly arrived, there is a spiritual darkness which permeates the mind of the unbelievers and yet it is the same thing which provides light to believers. It is the word of God. The dividing line is set and it is found in the word of God – the Bible, which reveals the Word of God – Jesus.
Matthew Henry further explains this thought –
“The word and providence of God have a black and dark side toward sin and sinners, but a bright and pleasant side toward the people of the Lord. He, who divided between light and darkness, Ge 1:4, allotted darkness to the Egyptians, and light to the Israelites. Such a difference there will be between the inheritance of the saints in light, and that utter darkness which will be the portion of hypocrites for ever.” Matthew Henry
It is good to know the Lord, to be familiar with His word, and to understand the spiritual darkness which is all around us. But lest we think that we somehow accomplished this salvation on our own, or that someone around us doesn’t deserve it, we can look to the words of Paul in Colossians 1. There he tells us that it is the Lord who delivered us –
“giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12-14
Because this is so, we need to remember that we were also once in darkness. The world around us maybe be offensive and gross, but the world around us needs Jesus. Let’s remember this and pray for the lost, be willing to share the good news, and always be prepared with a defense for why we believe what we believe.
And just in case you have never received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, I would ask for just another moment to share with you how you can move from the spiritual darkness which encompasses you and into His marvelous light…
Closing Verse: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11
Next Week: Exodus 14:21-31 (The Parting of the Red Sea) (41st Exodus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Salvation of Lord
And when Pharaoh drew near
The children of Israel lifted their eyes
And behold, a sight that brought fear
The Egyptians marched after them, it seemed their demise
So they were very afraid of the coming sword
And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord
Then they said to Moses, in their duress
“Because there were in Egypt no graves
Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?
Is this how a leader behaves?
Why have you so dealt with us? Our hope is stripped
Since your intent was to bring us up out of Egypt?
Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt… what nerve!
Saying “Let us alone that we may the Egyptians serve
For it would have been better for us to serve without duress
The Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness
And “Do not be afraid” Moses to the people did say
Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord
Which He will accomplish for you today
I pronounce to you now a prophetic word
For the Egyptians whom you see today
You shall see again no more forever, their trouble will cease
The Lord will fight for you, in a glorious way
And you, you shall hold your peace
And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?
Tell the children of Israel to go forward, get out by the sea
But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand
Over the sea and divide it
And the children of Israel shall go on dry land
Through the midst of the sea without getting wet
And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians
And they shall follow them in
So I will gain honor over Pharaoh
And over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen
Then the Egyptians shall know
That I am the Lord
When I have gained honor for Myself in a marvelous show
Over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen; this is my word
And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel
Moved and behind them went
And the pillar of cloud went from before them
And stood behind them; a marvelous event
So it came between the camp of the Egyptians
And the camp of Israel
Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one
And to the other light it did dispel
So that the one did not come near the other all that night
The Egyptians had darkness, but Israel had light
And such is true with the world, and me and you
If you have Jesus, you have the light
But if you don’t unfortunately it’s true
You only have darkness; pitch black as the night
But if you call out to Him for His saving grace
Upon you the light will arise and it will shine
The light of God is revealed in His face
Call out to Him now… Say “Jesus is mine!”
In Him there is no darkness, not at all
In Him there is only God’s wondrous glory
So on His name, today be sure to call
And be a part of God’s glorious gospel story
And we shall as the redeemed praise Him for eternal years
With joy and shouting of heartfelt cheers!
Hallelujah and Amen…