I’ve always loved the way the LORD led His people so personally, just as He does us…if only we’d follow (Exodus 13:21-22).
Nehemiah 9:12 (NKJV) “Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the road Which they should travel.”
Once again, we’re reminded to keep our hearts soft and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. A person must not harden his or her heart against the voice of God, for the day may come when one crosses the line, and God hardens it for them, in order to accomplish His purposes. This is what happened to Pharaoh, God hardened his heart in order to show the Jews, the Egyptians, and all the world, how absolutely awesome He is (Exodus 14:4).
The LORD warned Moses in advance about Pharaoh’s army, but He also informed him of Israel’s victory.
The Jews were trapped. The Red Sea in front of them, mountains beside them, and the Egyptian army with 600 chariots pursuing them. Chariots were the equivalent to modern-day tanks. What were these shepherds, and brick-makers, and women, and children to do? Trust the Lord, the enemy cannot touch you without first going through God. Consider that.
Moses commands the people to stop complaining, don’t be afraid, and he gives them good reason.
Exodus 14:13–14 (NKJV) “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.’”
We will inevitably face those situations in life where it seems as if there’s no way out, but we need to know, God always make a way.
The LORD protected His people, directed His people, and in the process defeated every form of opposition. (not one of their enemies remained – Exodus 14:28 – their defeat was complete).
In future generations, the Jews were to look back at the crossing of the Red Sea, the same way Christians look back to the Cross and Resurrection. It was there that the enemy was defeated, and it was there where God proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, His power beyond measure! We should have complete confidence to face today and the future, because of God’s victory on our behalf, already proven in the past.
God has redeemed His people out of Egypt. God has redeemed His people out of the world, and God has redeemed His people out of the power and penalty of sin.
It’s no wonder they sang!
Warren Wiersbe aptly said, “When they walked by sight, Israel complained (14:10–12); but when they believed God and saw His mighty hand at work, they praised Him. Redemption should lead to rejoicing (Luke 15:1–24).”
The chief priests and elders questioned Jesus, and challenged His authority to do these things, to clean house in the Temple – who did He think He was? How dare He come in and drive out their money-making machines! And to think, they were talking to God!
But Jesus turned the tables, asking them to search their hearts, what did they honestly think of John the Baptist? Deep down inside, they must have known John was sent from God, but they never acknowledged God’s prophet. They were prideful cowards and crooks who foolishly thought they could sweep John under the rug, but God would not allow it. Jesus would go no further with them, until they dealt with the prophet He had placed in their past. How vital it is to respond to what God has already shown us, otherwise He may not show us anything else, and there you are, stuck in the mud.
Jesus goes on to share two parables that indicted these religious leaders. Imagine – tax-collectors and harlots entering the Kingdom of God before them! They were under the assumption (and deception) that the vineyard was theirs and they could do with it as they wished. They thought they could seize the land and get away with killing God’s prophets and Son, but they couldn’t. Just as the Scriptures foresaw – they rejected the most important Stone of all, Jesus Christ (predicted in Psalms 118:22-23), and they would pay for it…forever.
Matthew 21:44 (NKJV) “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
There are only two types of people in this world. Those who fall on the Rock and are broken (in a good sense – broken of their wills), and those who have that Rock fall on them, these are ground to powder.
Israel would be judged in 70 A.D., the time of the Gentiles was ushered in, and it’s been close to 2,000 years since. But the day is on the horizon, when God’s calendar will turn to the final Jewish “week” of world history (Matthew 21:43; Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25; Daniel 9:24-27).
Are we ready for the Second Coming?
David was indeed a godly man and he asked the LORD to move on his behalf in consideration of that godliness – his integrity, his trust, his mind, his heart, his walk, his hatred for sin, his love for God’s house, his promise to preach and practice what he preached.
There is a place for that, God DOES bless obedience, and I do encourage you to pray and obey.
But, with New Testament light, I don’t usually base my prayers on my righteousness. I ask God to vindicate me, to protect me, to give me that victory, ONLY on the basis of His righteousness (Luke 18:13).
It’s good to know what God hates (these are abominable to Him)
1. A proud look
2. A lying tongue
3. Hands that murder
4. A heart that plans wickedly
5. Feet that run to do evil
6. A false/lying witness
7. A divisive disciple
If God hates these things we should too (not hatred for sinners, but hatred for sin)
Isn’t it interesting that lies are on the same list as murder? That lies are spoken of twice? Lying is worse than you might think, lying is the language of Lucifer, the dialect of the Devil (John 8:44) and if you can lie, you’re susceptible and vulnerable to do anything else.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.