From Slavery to Sinai: How to Handle Life’s Desert Pilgrimages

Exodus 14:10-15 GNV

10   When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help.

11   They said to Moses, “Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt!

12   Didn’t we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

13   Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again.

14   The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”

15   The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out for help? Tell the people to move forward.

Exodus 19:1-3 GNV1 The people of Israel left Rephidim, and on the first day of the third month after they had left Egypt they came to the desert of Sinai. 2 There they set up camp at the foot of Mount Sinai, 3 and Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and told him to say to the Israelites, Jacob’s descendants:

Mt. Sinai is where Israel got the laws of God:

  • Liberation
  • Laws
  • Land

2 Timothy 1:7 NCV – God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

Success is making the right decisions early in life; managing those decisions daily in life.

  1. The decision of Pharaoh – follow-up

Exodus 14:5-9 GNV5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had escaped, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites escape, and we have lost them as our slaves!” 6 The king got his war chariot and his army ready. 7 He set out with all his chariots, including the six hundred finest, commanded by their officers. 8 The Lord made the king stubborn, and he pursued the Israelites, who were leaving triumphantly. 9 The Egyptian army, with all the horses, chariots, and drivers, pursued them and caught up with them where they were camped by the Red Sea near Pi Hahiroth and Baal Zephon.

James 5:1-6 GNV1 And now, you rich people, listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3 Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days. 4 You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty. 5 Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent people, and they do not resist you. 

  1. The despair of the people – give up

Exodus 14:10-12 GNV10 When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. 11 They said to Moses, “Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt! 12 Didn’t we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 GNV8 We want to remind you, friends, of the trouble we had in the province of Asia. The burdens laid upon us were so great and so heavy that we gave up all hope of staying alive. 9 We felt that the death sentence had been passed on us. But this happened so that we should rely, not on ourselves, but only on God, who raises the dead. 10 From such terrible dangers of death he saved us, and will save us; and we have placed our hope in him that he will save us again, 11 as you help us by means of your prayers for us. So it will be that the many prayers for us will be answered, and God will bless us; and many will raise their voices to him in thanksgiving for us.

  1. The declaration of Moses – look up

Exodus 14:13-14 GNV13 Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”

  1. The decree of God – lift up

Exodus 14:15-18 GNV15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out for help? Tell the people to move forward. 16 Lift up your walking stick and hold it out over the sea. The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go in after them, and I will gain honor by my victory over the king, his army, his chariots, and his drivers. 18 When I defeat them, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”

  • The Protecting

Exodus 14:19-20 GNV19 The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20 between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel, and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

  • The Parting

Exodus 14:21-22 GNV21 Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

  • The Perishing

Exodus 14:23-29 GNV23 The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24 Just before dawn the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 25 He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The Lord is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let’s get out of here!” 26 The Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27 So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level. The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the Lord threw them into the sea. 28 The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29 But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

  • The Promoting

Exodus 14:30 GNV – On that day the Lord saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore.

Psalm 77:16-20 GNV16 When the waters saw you, O God, they were afraid, and the depths of the sea trembled. 17 The clouds poured down rain; thunder crashed from the sky, and lightning flashed in all directions. 18 The crash of your thunder rolled out, and flashes of lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 19 You walked through the waves; you crossed the deep sea, but your footprints could not be seen. 20 You led your people like a shepherd, with Moses and Aaron in charge.

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