This article and the one following will unpack what I believe to be one of the most instructive and inspiring verses in all of sacred Scripture: “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today” (Exodus 14:13 NKJV). Having been freed from more than four hundred years of bondage in Egypt, the Israelites found themselves seemingly trapped between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army. Their fear was great, their cry was loud and their hope was lost . . . until God showed up!
When was the last time you found yourself in a similar situation?
The Israelites did NOT find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s approaching chariots and the Red Sea because Moses made a wrong turn! The Lord was with them every step of the way. God was leading His people as they began their Exodus from Egypt:
The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (Exodus 13:21-22)
It was God who led the Israelites to this seemingly hopeless situation in order to demonstrate one simple fact: that the God of the Israelites is God—the one and only true and living God, Who alone can save.
Today we will focus on the “Instruction” in this verse and Monday we will focus on the “Inspiration.”
The saving power of Almighty God was miraculously displayed so as to leave no doubt Who was responsible for the deliverance of the Israelites. Who could send an east wind to part the waters of the Red Sea? Who could enable the Israelites to walk across on dry ground as the waters were held in place like gigantic, foaming walls on their right hand and on their left? Who could release the water with such cataclysmic force as to utterly annihilate the pursuing Egyptians? Only God!
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:30)
The physical deliverance and salvation of the Israelites was all of God. God sovereignly orchestrated these events so that there could be no doubt. And this serves as a picture of an even greater deliverance, the spiritual salvation of man that was won on Golgotha’s Hill by the Lord Jesus Christ. This too was all of God. Man was trapped between the murderous desire of Satan and the inexorable condemnation of the Law of God. Man’s situation was utterly hopeless . . . until God showed up, “humble, and mounted on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5).
The Israelites gave all the glory to God for their deliverance from certain death at the hands of the pursuing Egyptians. We, too, are to give all the glory to God for our deliverance from certain death and eternal separation from the love of God. We are to live out the assertion of Scripture: “[R]ejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!