H – Highlight
Exodus 14:1-4 – 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
E – Explain
Here is the account of the parting of the Red Sea and the rescue of Israel. God told Israel where to go. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he and the Egyptian army would chase the people of God. The people feared and complained against Moses and the Lord. God protected Israel with the pillar of fire until the sea was parted and the people walked through. And God got glory as he destroyed the Egyptians.
A – Apply
Many things got my attention in this chapter which apply. First is the fact that God did what he did here for the sake of his own glory. God was intent on showing that he is greater than Egypt, its military might, and its false gods. And the Lord did display his glory. I must recall that God’s glory is the most important thing in the universe.
Second, I take note of the complaint of the people. In the paragraph of verses 10-14, the Israelites gripe and complain against Moses and the Lord. They assume that they would have been better off not obeying the Lord but simply staying in Egypt. This reminds me that, even as we strive to lead people toward the things of God, there will be times when doing the right thing will be met with negativity. Moses needed to trust in the Lord. I too need to trust god rather than be discouraged by the people or discouraged by the circumstance.
Third, I note the absolute sovereignty of God. Every step in this chapter is his crafting. He told Israel where to go, hardened Pharaoh’s heart, defended the people, parted the sea, and drown the army. God is almighty. God is in control. I should not let myself forget these things in a world that looks godless and out-of-control.
R – Respond
Lord, I praise you. Your glory is to be seen and magnified in this account. Your glory is in fact the most important thing, though I do not always remember it. I pray that you will show me your glory, show me your power, and keep me focused firmly on this as most important. I pray that you will keep me from complaining about my circumstances. I pray that you will keep me confident in you even when those around me wish to complain about the situation in which we live. And I pray that you will remind me of your great and sovereign power as we walk through this difficult world.