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Red Dead Redemption

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Introduction

I love stories.
From books, movies, to just sitting around a campfire. Stories connect people.
Capturing stories attracted me to cameras.
Recently taking film courses.
The first thing you learn about stories is they need a climax.
Exodus however is so great a story that it has three.
First is crossing the Red Sea.
Most famous event in the Old Testament.
Acclaimed by:
actors like Charlton Heston,
preachers like Martin Luther King,
cartoonists like Charles Schulz,
animators like Walt Disney,
singers like Bob Marley
Given the attention, no surprise that over time misinformation has crept in.
Makes it important to get the story straight.
First know The God who brought Israel out of Egypt is great.
He always knows which way is best.
He is always faithful to help us.
He is always with us to guide us.
He is so great God that He is able to work everything for His glory.
This is the reason God made the world in the beginning and why He will save us in the end.
In both creation and salvation He will get all the glory.
True of Exodus.
The theme of Exodus is: Saved for God’s glory.

Passage

New Living Translation (Chapter 14)
The LORD gave these instructions to Moses:
2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by the sea. Camp there along the shore.
3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’
4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.
5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked.
6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops.
7 He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander.
8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance.
9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD,
11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?
12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’ ”
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.
14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”Escape through the Red Sea
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!
16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.
17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers.
18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them.
20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.
22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23 Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea.
24 But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion.
25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.”
27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea.
28 Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
29 But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides.
30 That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore.
31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Pray

Heavy Weights: No Villain Redemption.

God Is Glorified By The Judgment Of Sin

GLORY TO GOD ALONE

When God delivered Israel from Egypt, He did it so it guaranteed He would receive all credit.
Strategically, the detour God commanded was terrible.
They were already on their way to freedom when God ordered them to turn around, and camp between the desert and the sea.
Why would God put His people in this position?
God was tricking the Egyptians into thinking the Israelites had no idea what they were doing.
Once Pharaoh attacked, his army would be destroyed.
God would show both the Israel and the Egypt He was Lord, and that the glory belonged to Him alone.
God wanted to gain this glory at Pharaoh’s expense.
In order for God’s strategy to work, Pharaoh had to chase.
Pharaoh realized that he had lost his labor force.
Who would complete his monuments?
His officials were more upset.
Without slaves, they would have to fend for themselves.
Pharaoh’s change of heart shows he never repented.
He had been given opportunity.
First he refused. Then as plagues came, he began to negotiate. He bickered. He asked for prayer, even begging Moses to give him God’s blessing.
Finally, after promising to do what God wanted, he immediately changed his mind and went right back to his sins.
Pharaoh’s rebellion is a warning to anyone who never fully commited to doing what God requires.
An example, Uncle Shawn when Garrison was attacked by a dog.
Same kind of promise that Pharaoh made, and typically, it is the kind that gets broken.
What God wants is a total commitment to Him, right here, right now, and for the rest of our lives.

UNDER SATANIC ATTACK

Pharaoh quickly mobilized his forces.
The Israelites saw the world’s most powerful army, with advanced military technology.
Instead of looking to God, they looked at their enemies and were afraid.
Disappointing is they had witnessed God’s wonders.
They escaped Egypt the night before. The bible says that they marched out “boldly”. Yet the first sign of danger...
Exodus is a picture of our own deliverance from captivity to sin.
“these things occurred as examples” (1 Cor. 10:6).
When God rescues His people Satan tries to grab us.
Whenever we commit to follow Christ we face doubt and discouragement. Satan is after us, tempting us to turn back.
Jesus teaches “the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown. Others fall away when they suffer persecution or when they are worried by the troubles of life.”
We were once slaves, and he would like nothing better than to have us back.
Like a slaveholder coming north to hunt for a runaway slave, Satan wants to drag us back to the plantation of sin.
There is no “fugitive slave law” in the kingdom of God. Once God has set us free, Satan cant take us back.
So what should we do when he is chasing after us?
Not what the Israelites did...
The Israelites cried out but, this was not a cry of faith; it was fearful desperation.
They did not believe God would save them but expected to be destroyed.
Rather than waiting for God, they immediately turned on His prophet.
People often do this when they are under spiritual attack: They blame leaders.
They say to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?”
What gave their sarcasm bite, was that there were spectacular graves all over Egypt, the Pyramids.
Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’?”
We told you so!
Sulking, when things don’t go their way.
Most alarming of all was their willingness to go back to bondage.
The whole point of the exodus was for them to serve God, but here they were, wanting to go right back and serve Pharaoh.
More than a loss of nerve, it was a lack of faith.
By pledging allegiance to Pharaoh they denied the power of God.
We are often tempted to do the same thing.
God wants to bring us out of our sins. Our problem is we only come partway.
We follow Christ, but as soon as we start having problems go right back to our old ways. No matter how much we used to hate it, there was security in the way we used to live.
Me eating movie theatre popcorn.

MAKING OUR STAND

Even though Pharaoh was coming, they were right where God wanted them.
What was at stake was not simply their lives but God’s glory, which He would protect at any cost.
They should remembered what kind of God they serve.
Who always knows the best way, is always faithful, always stays to guide them.
More than that, remember His purpose to work out everything according to His glorious plan.
Moses remembered this: “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’ 
With these words Moses issued three commands: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm … be still.”
Do not be afraid: grammarians call a negative imperative.
The strongest form of expressing negation in the Hebrew language.
When telling them not to be afraid he was not comforting them, but rebuking them.
They had no right to be afraid because they had no reason to fear.
All they needed to do was to stand their ground, waiting to see what God would do.
In military situations this would be bad advice, but in this case they had someone to do all the fighting for them.
God was their warrior, they just needed to stand and see their salvation.
In this battle they were not soldiers they were spectators.
The same principle holds true for our salvation from sin.
We are in a spiritual battle, and in that battle the Bible gives us the same orders.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground,” (Eph. 6:13).
Satan is pursuing us, but instead of running away, all we need to do is stand and see the salvation of our God.
Charles Spurgeon: “I dare say you will think it a very easy thing to stand still, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. I find that marching and quick marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. It is, perhaps, the first thing we learn in the drill of human armies, but it is one of the most difficult to learn under the Captain of our salvation.”
To stand at ease in the midst of tribulation, shows a veteran spirit, experience, and grace.
It is hard to be still and wait for God.
Our temptation is to run away, or try to fix things on our own.
Instead, God orders us to stand our ground. He is our defender.
A rushing wave swept over them, and the next thing anyone knew, their bodies were washing up on the seashore. And God was glorified!
What happened to them at the Red Sea was divine retribution. These men deserved to be punished for their sins.
God is glorified when He judges people for their sins because this displays His divine attribute of justice.
God was also judging Egypt’s gods for His glory.
It is ironic that the Egyptians were defeated at daybreak because that is when their sun god was supposedly rising in the east.
But Ra could not save them.
Nor could Pharaoh save them, even though he too was revered as a god.
According to one ancient Egyptian inscription, “He whom the king has loved will be a revered one, but there is no tomb for a rebel against his majesty, and his corpse is cast into the water.” This inscription was a threat to drown Pharaoh’s enemies, but in the end the Egyptians were the ones who were lost at sea!
God did this for the praise of his justice.
Something similar will happen at the final judgment. Evil men will be destroyed, and God will be glorified.
Revelation 18 tells how the city of Satan will be cast into the sea (v. 21a).
This will be for the glory of God, immediately afterward, the saints will sing:
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments” (Rev. 19:1b, 2a).
God deserves our praise because he will do justice in the end.
God was doing something more than judging the Egyptians, however; he was also saving the Israelites, and this too was for His glory.

Being A Sucky Player On A Winning Team

God Is Glorified By The Salvation Of His People

Right when it was obvious there was nothing they could do to save themselves. It was just then that God saved His people,
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on’”.
The hour of their salvation had come. This was no time for crying and complaining; it was time to move.
Charles Spurgeon: “Far be it from me ever to say a word in disparagement of the holy, happy, heavenly exercise of prayer. But, beloved, there are times when prayer is not enough. When prayer itself is out of season. When we have prayed over a matter to a certain degree, it then becomes sinful to tarry any longer; our plain duty is to carry our desires into action, and having asked God’s guidance, and having received divine power from on high, to go at once to our duty without any longer deliberation or delay.”
It was time for God’s people to get up and get going.
However, What God told them to do was impossible.
It was the darkest hour before dawn, and they were up against the sea.
But of course with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26)

THE HAND OF GOD

What brought Israel out of Egypt was the power of God.
God was the one who told Moses to raise his staff, who hardened the hearts of the Egyptians, and who protected the Israelites all night
“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” (vv. 19, 20).
The pillar of cloud and fire was a theophany: a visible appearance of the invisible God.
God himself was in the glorious cloud.
Moses experienced something similar back at the burning bush.
God was with His people to protect them.
The cloud was their guard as well as their guide.
It moved behind the Israelites to shield them from their enemies.
The Egyptians were ready to attack, but all night long God kept them in the dark.
On the other side of this divine blockade, the children of God were in the light.
This is what distinguishes God’s people from the world:
We are in the light, and God is always right where we need him to keep us safe.
God was doing something else that night too. He was parting the waters, virtually reversing creation by turning the sea back into dry land.
God was so actively involved that even the Egyptians knew he was there, fighting against them: “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 made the wheels of their chariots come off 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’ 
God threw the Egyptians into a panic, by sending a violent storm from His cloud (Ps. 77:17, 18). Then Pharaoh’s chariots got bogged down in the mud, and the more they struggled, the more they got stuck. By the time they said, “Let’s get out of here!” it was too late. And the Egyptians knew exactly who had derailed them.
God had promised that one day they would know who was Lord.
That promise came true when they finally went down to destruction, they went with God’s name on their lips.
The Bible sums all this up by saying, “That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore”
How did the Israelites escape from Egypt?
Not the wind and the tide.
Not poor strategy or unexpected failure of military technology.
Not a sudden storm over the water.
It was the power of God!
He was the one who brought Israel out of Egypt.
God used the wind to drive back the sea.
This simply shows that he is able to use creation in the service of redemption.
He also employed a human instrument.
This is one of the mysteries of God’s sovereignty. He is able to use the world that he has made, and even sinful human beings, to accomplish His saving purpose.

FOR HIS OWN GLORY

The Exodus had to come by God’s hand in order for it to fulfill its divine intention.
Why did God part the waters of the Red Sea?
The answer is an answer that explains the whole exodus.
Indeed, it is the answer that explains why God does everything that he has ever done, is doing right now, or will ever do.
The answer is the glory of God.
God announced His intention to glorify Himself before the Israelites even reached the sea.
This was all part of God’s strategy.
What could be more glorious than God saving his people by bringing them through the sea?
This is one of the most amazing things God has ever done.
People are still talking about it.
The crossing of the Red Sea brought glory to God by convincing the Israelites to believe in God, which was greatest miracle of all.
“And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant”
God was fulfilling his grand purpose of saving a people for His glory. For that to happen, His people had to trust Him and worship Him.
Notice the order here:
God did not wait for His people to trust in Him before He saved them.
God took the initiative.
The people saw their salvation then they feared and believed.

THE GREATEST ESCAPE

As Christians, Israel’s great escape is part of the history of our salvation.
However, we have experienced an even greater escape.
We have been saved from sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Here again God takes the initiative. It is while we were still sinners that Christ died for us.
Jesus recapitulate Israel’s escape from Egypt.
As the crucifixion drew near, Jesus described his death as an “exodus”
Jesus is the new Moses who leads God’s people out of their bondage to sin and into the promised land of eternal life.
At this point some preachers would invite their congregations to identify their own “Red Sea” experiences and trust God to bring them through.
However, this misses the point. Israel’s passage is not intended to teach us what to do when we are in trouble, any more than it serves as a how to lesson on what to do when we come to a large body of water.
It is meant to teach us about coming to God for salvation.
What happened at the Red Sea should bring us to Christ.
The only Red Sea experience that matters is when Jesus passed through death and came out victorious on the other side.
All that remains for us to do is what Israel did: fear God and trust Him as we go forward.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

How Will Your Life Glorify God?

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