In the last scripture study, we studied the fight between the Israelites (okay God) and the Pharaoh. We left off with the Pharaoh agreeing to allow the Israelites their “three-day” journey to worship God. I use “quotations” because… well, you’ll find out.
If you missed the last study, check it out here.
At the end of Chapter 13 in the book of Exodus, we get a bit of a spoiler. In fact, in the version of the Bible that I read (among others), the title of this section of the scripture is titled “Israel’s Wilderness Detour”.
You might be thinking… wait, didn’t we start with a detour? Yup! God loves his detours!
But That's Not All!
Exodus 13:17-18 give away God’s big plan! Moses probably couldn’t have made it as a Hollywood writer giving away spoilers like that! The scripture says,
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. NIV
God is definitely not basic (meaning boring for those that don’t speak millennial). God always has a way for thinking 10 steps ahead… okay, he thinks millennia ahead because let’s face it… he’s God after all.
God sees exactly what the Israelite people will do if faced with a fight and has a plan to avoid that entire temptation by taking “the long way”. He even takes them to a dead end (on purpose), but I’m getting a head of myself. See what I mean? Not boring at all! In fact, he’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
In chapter 14, the Lord gives Moses some crazy sounding instructions, but when God tell you to do something that seems weird, it isn’t a bad idea to follow Him. God tells Moses to take all of his people and camp along the shore of the Red Sea near a place called Pi-hahiroth. God told Moses he was going to make the Egyptians think that the Israelites were confused and have trapped themselves. But of course, God provides a way out when there is no way… so read on.
The Egyptians find out about the Israelites making camp and they think exactly what God said they would. In fact, they get cocky and figured they can catch them since they’re so “confused”. The Pharaoh uses 600 of his best chariots plus all of the rest of the chariots of Egypt. He also had all of his horses with them, all with a soldier. This guy was determined!
Of course the Israelites panic when they see the Pharaoh and all of his armed men approaching. They start yelling at poor Moses about him leading them to die. They start complaining about how surely slavery was better dying like this! Over dramatic much?
Moses must have gotten used to their complaining and tells them basically to knock it off. Well, he says it nicer than that, but that’s what I took from it. In Exodus 14: 13-14, Moses says:
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. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” NIV
I love what God says next. Honestly, this is one of those times that shows that I was really made in God’s image. God says, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” NLT. This sounds like something I would say!
God goes on to instruct Moses how to exactly save his people…. with his shepherd’s staff. Moses is instructed to hold it out over the water and suddenly, the water calms and allows his people to swim to safety! Well, that’s not really what happened. Although, that would have been pretty cool.
What actually happens is way better. The Angel of the Lord and the pillar of cloud that had been leading them, moved to their rear as protection. The really cool part is that the pillar turned into a light on the side of the Israelites, but darkness on the side of the Egyptians to make sure that they didn’t see what was going on.
Then Moses put out his staff and God sent a mighty wind that not only caused the water to part ( believed to have been approx 2,600 feet deep), but also dried the ground, allowing the Israelites to Escape. So not only do the Israelites not have to get wet, their feet stay mud free as well! Talk about the God that thinks of everything.
The Red Sea isn’t exactly a small stream, so it took some time for the Israelites to pass, but as soon as they were across, not only did God throw the Egyptian men into confusion, but he instructed Moses to raise his hand again to release the waters again. With approx 2,600 feet deep and between 100 and 200 miles wide, it’s no wonder that none of the Egyptians that chased Israel into the sea survived.
The Wrap Up
So what did we learn this week from our Escape Confusion? Here are the main points:
- Detours are sometimes God’s way of setting you up for success and your enemies for correction.
- God may ask you to do something that seems silly, but if you have faith to listen and act, it can mean some pretty awesome things.
- When God tells you to move, just listen. He knows what he’s talking about.
- God will use us in extraordinary ways if we just raise our hand.
It’s time for the challenge. This week’s challenge has to do with raising your hand. Raise your hand to volunteer in some way. Maybe it’s at your church or in your community. Maybe it’s helping a neighbor with yard work. Volunteering is one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to show that we are the hands and feet of God.
Use #NoConfusion on social media and tag UnPerfected Ministries in your posts. We’re on Facebook and Instagram.
Call to Action!
We need your help! We’re looking for kids and teens that are making a difference in their community. Do you know someone who is living out being the hands and feet of God? Let us know about them by contacting us today!