Day Five: NTB (No Turning Back)

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind… The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and followed them into the sea. The LORD looked down…at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion…And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them…” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea…” The Egyptians were fleeing… and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.” (Exodus 14:21-28, abridged)

The people of God are now looking “over” the sea, back toward their old life, where they were once slaves. Ajead of them is the promise of the Promised Land, yet a lot of unknowns… They are on this threshold where they can no longer go back to their old life… because there is an ocean between them and the old life [the point of no return]. Actually, what would it take for them to be able to go back to the old life? For God to re-part the Red Sea, resurrect their old oppressors, so they could scramble back to their old lives of slavery??? Impossible!

In Christ, our salvation is so sure, definitive, so life-changing that we can never go back! It would take a “miracle” — God does not re-open the Red Sea so that people can return to a life of slavery! It’s never going to happen. Once you are saved, you are saved. That’s why God tells them through Moses, “Move on/forward” (14.15). There is nowhere to go if you turn back… Once saved, we are definitively saved, once and for all, the best thing to do is move forward. Becoming a Christian is miraculous, a work of God, undeniable, definitive, complete, sure… God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is definitive, life-changing once and for all… never to be a slave again, never to have those old oppressors again. Best thing to do… move forward… go get your inheritance… live the abundant life in Christ, calling, mission, purpose. [Adapted from Pastor Jason’s message at ALC]

Listen to the recording of Exodus 14.21-28 and let’s celebrate our deliverance in Christ with the song “We Have Overcome.”

– JP


Day Four: Forward! Forward! Forward!

And the Lord said unto Moses, “Why cry you unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” (Exodus 14:15)

“[W]e may view the great company who came out of Egypt as AN ARMY UNDER COMMAND; therefore, they must obey. The command given to them is, ‘Forward!’

‘Forward? Forward?’ Might the wise men have said in the host of Israel, ‘How can we go forward? That narrow beach leads down to the foaming billow. Forward? What do you mean? We are altogether as dead men if we go forward! Would you have us swim? Do you know where you are? There are miles and miles of deep water, and who knows the bottom of the sea? Forward? Absurd!—We shall lose the camels, and the sheep, and the baggage, and our wealth, and our children, and our little ones—yes, and our own lives also.’ But thus says the Lord, ‘Forward!’ You came out of Egypt under Moses’ command, will you play the rebel’s part? If the Lord is your Captain, you must do absolutely what He bids you at any loss, and at any cost. If He says, ‘Forward,’ and it is into the Red Sea or into a gulf of fire, forward you must go! Now, beloved, this presents us a picture of those who are savingly converted, who, on a sudden, meet with difficulties in following Christ, and run to their minister or to their friend, and say, ‘What are we to do?’ The Lord’s message by me, tonight, to your anxious inquiry is this— ‘Forward!’ It is a simple one—‘Forward!’ ‘Sir, I have just begun to be a Christian, but if I continue in it, I shall lose my business! My calling is such that I cannot be honest in it, and serve my God faithfully without sinking all my capital and bringing myself and family to beggary. What ought I to do? Ought I not to give up my religion?’ Forward! Forward! No matter what is before you. Forward! You are not fit to be a soldier of Christ unless you can count all costs, and still hold fast to the cross of Christ.” [C.H. Spurgeon, Sermon #548: “Forward! Forward! Forward!”]

Let’s pray: Lord, may we move forward with You! Why linger in unbelief, or uncertainty, or fear, when we can move forward with You into newness of life, assurance, and faith! Lord, I want to move forward with You!

– JP


Day Three: Salvation Belongs to the Lord

And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10)

“The Red Sea story is not just about what the Israelites get out of (bondage with layers) but also about how they get out (crossing over by grace). Here’s how Moses replied to the fearful, complaining Israelites: ‘Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still”’ (Exodus 14:13–14).

“On the one hand, the principle of grace could not be clearer: ‘Stand still. God’s going to do your fighting. Watch. You can’t do it. You can’t contribute to it. You can’t do a thing. God’s going to do the whole thing.’ When Moses says, ‘The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still’… he sounds like Paul: ‘to the one who does not work [cf. ‘be still’] but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness’ (Rom. 4:5). ‘Be still.’ Don’t look at your works. Receive a complete salvation or deliverance, based not on your works but solely on Christ’s works.” [T. Keller, “Getting Out,” in The Scriptures Testify About Me]

Let’s pray and worship the Lord. Jesus is the only one who can rescue, who can save, and who can lift us from the grave!  You Alone Can Rescue by Matt Redman.

– JP


Day Two: The Lord Is Fighting for Them

“The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, ‘Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.’

Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.’ Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.  Not one of them survived.” (Exodus 14:23-28)

“How are we to respond to the Lord and to life’s issues in times of fear and feeling like our backs are against the wall? In Exodus 14:15 the Lord says to Moses ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on… Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.’ As the Israelites are told to move on (go forth), because the Lord finishes the fight, we are to move on in faith to where the Lord leads—a life of faith and transformation.

He who began a good work in you will bring it to full completion!  For those of us that are insecure or unsure, the Lord’s promise is that He will finish the fight, hence may we move on from where we are into a place of worship, surrender, and obedience.” [Pastor Gus Kim]

Let’s pray: Lord, help me to move on, move forward toward a life of greater worship, surrender, and obedience. I trust that you will bring the good work you started in my life to full completion! Lord, I will move on with You!

– JP


Day One: The Lord Will Fight for You

“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” (Exodus 14:13-14,19-22)

“God finishes the fight to set the people free.  The Lord’s work of rescue does not stop short of full completion until the people are completely free.  In this fight, the Israelites are not tasked to aid nor supplement in the fighting in order to finish the work that the Lord has begun.  Perhaps that is why the Lord doesn’t instruct nor train the people to fight for themselves, nor does the He choose a servant (Moses) with military training.  Rather, the Lord shows His power in the midst of the people’s weakness, thus becoming a true demonstration of God’s work of salvation alone. The Lord who started this fight fully finishes it.” [Pastor Gus Kim]

“In these chapters in Exodus, the Israelites have their backs against a wall—on one side the Egyptians who are fully armed and ready to destroy and re-capture them, and on the other side the vastness of the Red Sea.  However, there are other players in this fight as “The Israelites need not fear for they have a lot of special company.  They have God’s angel/messenger (Ex. 14:1).  They have a cloud-encased fire (Ex. 14:19-20)…Best of all, they have Yahweh’s own presence, of which the first three are observable representatives of the Divine One in their midst, at both the front and rear of the camp.” [V. Hamilton, Exodus Commentary, p. 217]

“Therefore, though the Israelites were complaining and panicking at the sight of the Egyptian chariots, it is clear that the Lord’s very literal presence was with them as seen in the cloud/pillar of fire that was protecting them. Perhaps the Israelite’s fear led them to become blind and oblivious to the reality of God’s presence that was clearly with them.” [Pastor Gus Kim]

Let’s pray: Lord, we want to be more aware of Your presence with us. Instead of being overwhelmed by fear or panic, may we be more aware of how You are working in our midst.

– JP