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The Journey To Sinai

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The Journey To Sinai (GOING TO MEET THE LORD)

(Ex. 14:1–17:16)

This is the story of Israel’s trek from Egypt to Sinai. This is the story of a people that God chose in Abraham, for Himself. Their mission was to be developed into a nation that would serve as a witness for God. However, before a people can become a witness for God, it must first come to know God as He chooses to reveal Himself to them and through them to the world. This was Israel’s challenge, and it is also the challenge to the contemporary church.

The Journey to Sinai is the true account of Israel’s journey from Egyptian slavery to Sinai, where they would receive instructions that would govern their relationship with The Lord. This group of hopeful people had cried out to God on many occasions. However, they had not considered the consequences of shedding the Egyptian yoke for an intimate and personal relationship with a holy God. Consequently, the experiences of their conversion were sometimes very painful, and filled with suffering.

What must be understood is that although God had chosen these people for Himself, they were not saved; and salvation comes hard when one wants the blessings of a personal relationship with God, but is not willing to pay the cost of discipleship. Thus was the situation of Israel as they journeyed to Sinai. They made “Going to Meet the Lord” more difficult than it was ever intended to be.

This sermon series addresses the struggles of Israel as they journeyed to Sinai to meet God.

Phase one: Israel at the Red Sea (Ex. 14:1–18)

I.                        Pharaoh ordered his army to “Follow up!” (Ex. 14:1–9): Regretting his decision to free Israel, Pharaoh orders the Egyptian army, including 600 chariots, to capture the Israelites by the Red Sea.

 This was all a part of the grand scheme of God in the process of bringing His people to know Him. God has determined that His act of freeing His people from Egyptian slavery will cause Pharoah’s inner man to become even more hardened toward them. He will determine to destroy them from the face of the earth. However, this determination to destroy the people of God will bring about the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. Decisions to follow God sometimes cause feelings of despair.

II.                        The despair of the people caused them to “ Give up!” (Ex. 14:10–12): In great fear and anger the Israelites cry out to Moses, “Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness!”

The great tragedy of the Christian existence is Christians who call on God for help without considering the consequences of God helping them. When God helps them and the enemy does not cooperate, many Christians desire to quit and go back to the same life that caused them to ask God for help. They do not understand that liberation requires struggle, and struggle is God’s testing ground. In times of great stress, faithless followers should look up to the power of God.

III.                        Moses told the Israelites  to “Look up!” (Ex. 14:13–14): Moses reassures them, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand your ground and watch the Lord rescue you.”

In times of distress, Christians need to learn to be still and reflect on what God has promised and what He has done. Then they need to trust Him to do what He has promised. Moses gives us a sound spiritual principle that we should adhere to in times of great stress, “Resist your fears and pay attention to what the Lord is doing.” These Israelites did not understand that the battle at had was not theirs; it was between the Egyptians and the Lord. When Moses demonstrated his faith in God by telling the Israelites to look up, God rewarded His faith by Moses to lift up.

IV.                        God told Moses to “Lift up!” (Ex. 14:15–18): Moses is told to raise his staff over the Red Sea, dividing the waters and allowing Israel to walk across on dry ground.

The sea seemed frightening, but God used it to teach a lesson in faith and the power of God. In the Hebrew, God speaks of the sea as if it is a person, suggesting that any obstacle to a Christian’s safety may be viewed as a person, and is thus capable of defeat. Therefore, God gives authority over the sea to Moses, giving the faithful believer model of God exerting His divine power through human agency to defeat the enemy that stands in the way of freedom from the dominion of sin. What did God tell Moses to lift up? A stick!

Notice the progression here…

1.                   Man gets into trouble because his sin follows him up, everywhere he goes…

2.                   Man’s faithfulness tells him to give up…

3.                   However, God’s faithful people know that when trouble comes, they should look up…

4.                   When we obey faith and look up, God will lift us up…

The principle is this…

1.                   Jesus went around doing good, and trouble followed Him up…

2.                   When He was crucified, His disciples, except for John, gave up… They went back to fishing…

3.                   While hanging on a stick, Jesus kept on looking up…

4.                   From heaven, the Father lifted Him up … from the grave

5.                   He found His disciples, who had given up…

6.                   He caused them to look up …

7.                   When they looked up, Jesus lifted up…

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