Exodus 13:17–18, 20–22; 14:5–6, 10, 13–14, 31–15:2, 11–13comment (0)
July 13, 2006
By Cecil Clegg
Related Scripture: Exodus 13:17–18, 20–22; 14:5–6, 10, 13–14, 31–15:2, 11–13
Family Bible Study
Pastor, Heritage Baptist Church, Douglasville, Ga.
I Will Follow God’s Leading
Exodus 13:17–18, 20–22; 14:5–6, 10, 13–14, 31–15:2, 11–13
The background of the present text tells us that God has used Moses to prepare the children of Israel for their exit from Egypt. God used 10 plagues to come upon Egypt in order to show Pharaoh the power of God. The last of those 10 plagues was the killing of the firstborn. All the Egyptian families, including Pharaoh’s, lost their firstborn to death. The Israelite families, however, had the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and were spared because they were the people of God.
We are told in Exodus 12:33 that the Egyptians encouraged the Israelites to leave the country. The entire exodus experience reveals how God’s sovereign will works through His protection of His people.
God Considers Our Weaknesses (13:17–18)
“When Pharaoh let the Israelites go, God did not lead them through the Philistine country, though it was shorter.”
God discerned that if the people were not ready for battle, they would be afraid of the enemy and would give up immediately. In other words, God always knows how to lead us, when to lead us and what path to lead us on. Because God knows our weaknesses, He helps us steer clear of situations that could weaken our faith in Him.
In 1 Corinthians 10:12–13, Paul gives us spiritual insight into God’s leading as we face temptation. Paul tells us there are temptations that are common to man, but God can help us work through them or escape them.
God’s Constant Presence (13:20–22)
God made it quite clear that He would be with the Israelites and also show them which way to go. God led them with a pillar of cloud by day and with a pillar of fire by night. These two pillars never left them as they traveled toward their destination. Believers can be sure that God’s spirit is always present to guide them in the way He chooses.
One of the most prominent New Testament passages that relates to God’s presence and care is Romans 8:26–28.
Paul knew that due to our sinful nature and limited insight, it was difficult to pray clearly in stressful situations. Therefore, the Holy Spirit prays in the hearts of those who pray. He clarifies, convicts, comforts and brings companionship. The Holy Spirit always makes His presence known to us as we deal with life.
God Fights for His People (14:5–6, 10, 13–14)
After the Israelites had exited Egypt, Pharaoh’s sinful, selfish nature consumed him. He and the other Egyptians asked themselves, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services.”
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened because of his sinful nature but God chose to use even this for good. Thus, Pharaoh’s army pursued the Israelites and the Israelites were terrified as they saw the approaching army.
The Israelites, due to their limited insight concerning God’s care for them, saw no way out of this dilemma. They saw the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. They saw with their human eyes and felt with their carnal hearts. Moses assured the terrified Israelites that God would fight for them and would destroy Pharaoh’s army. God can always make a way. Believers can depend on God to help them as they follow God’s will confidently — even when doing so puts them into fearful situations.
God Guides Believers with Strength (14:31–15:2, 11–13)
When the Israelites believed there was no way out, God parted the Red Sea and they walked over on dry ground.
The Egyptian army went into the sea after the Israelites and they were all drowned as the waters came back to their normal formation. The Israelites saw God’s power and they trusted Him.
Because of God’s powerful deliverance, Moses and the Israelites praised God’s strength to save and His promise to lead them to His holy place. Chapter 15 gives a description of their celebration. If believers will but follow God in sincere faith, we will find ample reasons to celebrate His incomparable power and guidance throughout our lives.