Sermon:  Exodus, It’s What God Does


Summary:  God delivering his trapped people by his power when they step forward in faith is the paradigm for how God typically delivers his people, especially in his deliverance from captivity by the power of the cross when we step forward in faith into the water to experience our own exodus from bondage to sin.  There is a time for prayer, and a time for faithful action that will result in God going before us, leading us to freedom.


Text:  Exodus 13:17-14:31


Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 43:15-19



1.  Preacher announced a board meeting after services

          a.  Preached a sermon that seemed exceptionally long

          b.  Afterwards a visitor showed up in the board room

          c.  Minister said, "You misunderstood, this is a board meeting"

          d.  Man replied, "I know.  You preached so long, I was bored to death"

2.  One time someone commented that my sermon seemed exceptionally short

          a.  Is that a complaint?  No, just observations

          b.  I was taught to say what you are going to say, and STOP

          c.  Don't keep on going.

          d.  Sometimes saying too much ruins it

3.  There is a time for talking, and there is a time for action

4.  Israelites have come to a point where it is a time for action – Ex 13:7f

          a.  After generations of slavery, they are finally leaving Egypt

          b.  They have the gold, silver, & clothes they requested from Egyptians

          c.  God is physically out in front, leading them in a pillar of cloud by day,

     and pillar of fire by night


I.  God takes them in an indirect route

          A.  Could have went a direct route to Canaan

          B.  Two reasons for this

                    1.  To avoid the Philistines, 13:17

                              a.  God reasoned that the people might change their minds if

               they see war and return to Egypt

                              b.  Israel had been slaves, not accustomed to being strong

     and courageous in the face of conflict

                    2.  To allow Pharaoh to pursue them

a.  Pharaoh think they were wandering aimlessly

                              b.  God would harden Pharaoh’s heart again

                              c.  Pharaoh would think they were lost and go after them

                              d.  God will be honored through Pharaoh and his army

          C.  God tells them to do something that strategically makes no sense

                    1.  Camp with the sea at your back - they would be boxed in!

                    2.  Pharaoh takes 600 select chariots and all other chariots

                    3.  He boxes them in by the sea – 14:5-9

4. 14:10-12 - We see the slave mentality of Israel

          a.  They cried out against Moses

                    - Was it because there were not graves in Egypt that

   you brought us out to die in the desert?

                    - We just wanted to be left alone so we could be

  slaves for the Egyptians

                              b.  They rather be slaves to oppressive ruler than free to

      serve God

          D.  Up to this point, no one seems to be taking God seriously

                    1.  Egypt pursues them even after experiencing the plagues

                    2.  Israel thinks they have been led out there to die

                    3.  They are boxed in with NO PLACE to go

                    4.  What can you do if you are boxed in? 


II.  This is a time for action

          A.  (14:13-14) Moses tells the people - “do not fear!”

                    1.  “Stand by” or “Take your Stand”

                    2.  “See the salvation/deliverance of Yahweh”

                              a.  Interesting, salvation/deliverance in Hebrew is “yasha”

                              b.  Person who delivers is called a “Yeshua” – deliverer

                              c.  This is the name of Jesus - Yeshua

                    3.  “You will never see the Egyptians again forever”

                    4.  “Yahweh will fight for you while you keep silent”

          B.  (14:15) God also says to stop crying out

                    1.  Stop crying out, stop praying and move forward

                    2.  Now is a time for action

          C.  There are times for prayer, and times for action

          D.  This is a time for action


III.  So they take action, and so does God

          A.  This is the final and ultimate contest of power with Egypt

                    1.  Chariots and horses were the stuff of mighty armies

                    2.  God defeats them with his arsenal - wind and sea (14:15-29)

                              a.  Pillar of cloud/fire moved from the front to the rear,

     provided protection from the Egyptians

                              b.  God told Moses to lift his rod over the sea, and it parted

                              c.  Israel not boxed in, God makes way through the sea

                              d.  Egyptians tried to follow, but God throws chariots into

     confusion, and closes water over them

                    3.  Entire army was destroyed, there was nothing left

          B.  With finality God displays his power over Egypt and Pharaoh

                    1.  This a blow against Sekhmet, powerful goddess of fire & war

                              a.  Usually depicted as a lioness

                              b.  Fiercest of hunters and protector of Egypt

                              c.  Regarded as protector of the Pharaohs and led them in


                    2.  Ancient inscription concerning Pharaoh

          “He is sekhmet (the powerful war goddess) against him who transgresses his command; how whom he hates will bear sickness.  Fight on behalf of his name and be scrupulous in the oath to him, that you may be free from a taint of disloyalty.  Ho whom the king has loved will be a revered one, but there is no tomb for a rebel against his majesty, and his corpse is cast into the water.”

                              a.  Egyptians believed if you resisted Pharaoh, you resisted

     the powerful war goddess, Sekhmet

b.  Egyptians believed that if you resisted Pharaoh, your

     corpse would be cast into the water

                    3.  14:30 - In the morning, Egyptians see corpses on the shore

                              a.  Not corpses of Israel, like the inscription said

                              b.  Saw corpses of Pharaoh’s army on the shore!

          C.  (14:30-31) Israel reacts with faith

                    1.  Text says they feared Yahweh, Pharaoh and army defeated

                    2.  Also says they believed in Yahweh and his servant Moses

          D.  What is the purpose of this story?

                    1.  Not a story of Israel’s faith

                    2.  It is the story of God’s deliverance

                    3.  This becomes a paradigm/pattern of God’s deliverance

                              a.  At other times, when God’s people were boxed in,

     prophets reminded people of God’s deliverance

                              b.  This is what God does for his people


IV.  Take a look at how this is a paradigm for God

          A.  (Isa 51:9-11) About Israel’s deliverance from Babylonian captivity

                    1.  Rahab/Dragon

                              a.  Familiar imagery to Ancient Near Eastern people

                              b.  These were divine monsters of chaos that fought against

     the gods and threatened peace, justice, and order

                              c.  Old Testament applies this imagery to rulers who

     opposed God and oppressed his people, like Pharaoh

                              d.  God defeats these tyrants

                    2.  Instead of Egypt, this passage refers to Babylon

                    3.  God will enact another Exodus from captivity

                    4.  Isaiah 14 says God will destroy Babylon due to its oppression

     and arrogance in trying to pass itself off as a god, like Pharaoh

5.  Exodus - It’s what God does

          B.  (1 Cor 10:1-2) The Christian Exodus

                    1.  Paul compares Israel’s forming even to our forming event

                    2.  Israel was “baptized” into Moses in the sea

                              a.  For them, the enemy was defeated decisively

                              b.  They were free from bondage

                              c.  They became the redeemed people of God

                    3.  We are “baptized” into Christ in the water

                              a.  The enemy, sin and death is defeated decisively

                              b.  We are freed from bondage to sin

                              c.  We become part of the redeemed people of God

                    4.  Exodus - It’s what God does

          C.  See parts of Exodus experience all over the ministry of Christ

1.  Mt 2:15 quotes Hos 11:1 - Out of Egypt I have called my son

                              a. God’s son is not Israel, but Jesus (Yeshua-Deliverer)

                              b.  Connects to story of Jesus coming back from Egypt as a

     child to Israel

                    2.  Mt 4:1-2 - Temptations of Christ

                              a.  Israel spent 40 years in wilderness, Jesus spent 40 days

                              b.  Like Israel, Jesus was tested in the wilderness, but Jesus

     passed and did not sin

                    3.  Lk 9:28-31 - Jesus on Mount of Transfiguration

                              a.  Jesus’ appearance was transfigured, changed

                                        - Clothes became as white as light

                                        - Like Moses whose face glowed when he went up the

  mountain to be with God

                              b.  Says Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about his


                                        - Do you know what Exodus means?  Departure!

                                        - Jesus was about to experience an Exodus

                    4.  Heb 6:20 - When Jesus “departed” he became our forerunner,

     leading out of bondage into the presence of God

                              a.  Heb 3 - But Jesus is better forerunner than Moses

                              b.  Jesus our forerunner leads us out of bondage to sin

                                        - He died on the cross for our sins and defeats sin

                                        - Rose from the grave and defeated death

                              c.  Jesus’ Exodus defeats the ultimate enemy

                                        - Jn 12:31-33 - Ruler of this world is cast out, Not

  Pharaoh, but Satan

                                        - Rev 19:20; 20:10 – All of God’s enemies are cast

  into a Red Sea called the Lake of Fire

          = When that happens, never see them again

          = Just like what God told Israel about Egypt

          = Satan, sin, and death all destroyed in the

   Sea/Lake of Fire

                              d.  Rev 21:2f - Jesus brings us not to Canaan, but to the

     New Jerusalem where there will be no more pain, death,


          D.  Exodus, it’s what God does


Concl:  Where are you?

1.  Are you boxed in?  Some sort of bondage in your life?

          a.  To a habit, an attitude, despair, anger, or sin?

          b.  Remember - Exodus, it’s what God does.

          c.  But you have to take action

                    - You can talk about it and wring your hands

                    - But God is saying, “move forward into the water” (inv)

2.  If you have already started forward

          a.  Remember, God is going before you and leading you

          b.  Not looking to a pillar of cloud, but to his word

          c.  Only way to know how to move forward is look to his word and act

3.  It is time for action, how is God calling you to move forward?