- Sermon Notes
Where There Is No Way
Intro: Bus Breakdown
Today we will be reading in Exodus Chapter 14. At this point, the Israelites had been enslaved by the Egyptians for hundreds of years. They had worked and suffered under the rule of the Pharaohs, their lives had been made bitter, and they had been oppressed for generations.
Then, God called Moses to lead the emancipation of his people. God uses Moses and 10 miraculous plagues to win the freedom of the people of Israel and to demonstrate His glory. So, Israel starts their journey to the Promised land, but instead of taking the direct path (through the land of the Philistines) God leads them to the shore of the Red Sea. Not long after the Israelites leave Egypt, Pharaoh regrets letting them go, and he starts chasing the nation of Israel… And that is where we pick up our story.
Read: Exodus 14:10-22
As the people of Israel journeyed to the Promised Land, God made a way for them that was more amazing than they could have imagined. Before they crossed, however, all they could see was an impassable sea before them and an impossible king in pursuit of them. When you are stuck between a rock and a hard place it is hard to imagine that either is God’s perfect plan. But God is deeply intentional about how he leads us.
I. What God Has is Better
- The Israelites find themselves in an impossible situation. In front of them, they have a massive body of water, and behind them an army is pressing in.
- Israel began to play with the idea of returning to their enslavement. In their fear it sounded better than the place God had lead them to.
- The people’s life in Egypt was nothing worth retuning to. The Pharaohs had intentionally made their lives bitter, with the hope of oppressing Israel and working them into submission.
- The fear and complaining of the Israelites was not benign, there are real consequences to what is done out of fear.
- Numbers 14: 22-23 “Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
- The plan that God had for Israel was the best for them, even though it was filled with challenges they would have rather avoided.
- As the pressure began to mount, they began to question. However, momentary affliction is nothing when we compare it to what God has in mind for us.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
- God was leading Israel to the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey. The Lord is leading us to our eternal inheritance and to His purpose for us in this life.
- When we feel the squeeze of our circumstance, we must not forget that following the Lord’s plan is worth it. What God has is better, and there is no reason to be afraid.
A.Do not fear
- We aren’t so far removed from the people of ancient Israel. It is so easy for us to be afraid. Fear has become a natural response for us when we face uncertainty.
Illus. Monster under the bed
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- God calls us out of fear, and into the confidence of what he has for us. That confidence is found in Him.
- Moses says it clearly in Exodus 14:13 “Do not fear! Standby and see the salvation of the Lord” That is God’s word to us when He is about to do something extraordinary.
- Moses knew God would move. Even though he didn’t know how God would move this time, he had already seen the Lord work miracles where all hope seemed lost.
Jer. 29:11-13 For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
- Moses is pointing the Israelites upward, before they go forward. We too need to go to God first in order to go forward.
B.The Lord will fight for you
- There was no way the Israelites were going to win a fight against the chariots of Egypt, and they weren’t about to swim across the Red Sea. Instead
of being afraid they needed to recognize that the Lord was ready to come to their aid. God would fight FOR them.
Illus. Sasha vs Tony
- Let the Lord fight on your behalf. He is far more capable, and it will honor Him.
Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
- When we face a challenge, we need to invite God to the scene. Victory is assured for Him, you can hardly call it a fight.
- If you belong to God, you are under His protection. The Lord will win the battle.
- Moses said to the people, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:14)
- When God says He is on your side, you can rest assured that the victory is in hand.
Deuteronomy 3:22 Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
- Our God is bigger than anything that stands in His way. He is glorified by the victories He claims on our behalf.
- We can trust God to clear the impossible obstacles that stand in the way of His path for us.
II. Trust God’s Faithfulness
We saw earlier in the passage that the Israelites were scared out of their wits.
Exodus 14: 11-12 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.”
- God had demonstrated His faithfulness to the Israelites by bringing them out of slavery in Egypt. There wasn’t any reason to doubt Him.
- He had done more than enough to earn their trust. Still, we see Israel declaring that it would have been better to stay in slavery, instead of trusting that God would be faithful.
- Moses saw this clearly. Before the Lord even told him how they were getting out of this mess, Moses had faith that God would make a way for them to go forward.
- His plan for you is not a U-turn. Even if there is difficulty, we need to remain confident that God will be there, even when we feel lost.
2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
- God is steadfast, reliable, and ever the same. We can trust Him to lead us down paths that are worthwhile.
- Even when you seem to meet a dead end, and you cannot see where the Lord is taking you, you can trust Him.
A. He will make a way
- As the story continues, God moves. He does something entirely inconceivable. The Lord instructs Moses to raise his staff and part a sea!
Illus. Oceanography teacher
- The world won’t always understand how God moves. However, we must remember that God has made, is making, and will always make a way. We overcome through Him.
- When Israel was caught between a sea and an army, God cut a path for them where there wasn’t one before.
- When we are stuck, it’s important for us to allow God to make a way for us, rather than making a way for ourselves.
Illus. Taking a Leap
- What was true for Israel thousands of years ago, is all the more true for us today. When we feel stuck, we need God’s perspective.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
- God can do what He says He will. Even if we can’t see how.
- As God instructed Moses to raise his staff, God also instructed him to tell the people of Israel to “Go Forward”
- Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land, and, as they finished crossing, the water returned and washed away their adversaries.
- God wants to give us the same kind of miraculous victory in our lives.
Illus. Moving to Oregon
1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
- Have faith in who God is. Let His proven love and character be your comfort.
- The question is, “will you go forward?”
Exodus 14:22 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.