Exodus 14:15-30 God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him

Exodus 14:15-30 God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honoured through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I am honoured through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.” The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.

Background

Moses and the Israelites were caught between the Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. What seemed like a dead end for the Israelites became a watery grave for the Egyptians. The Lord orchestrated the entire operation of leading the Israelites to freedom with Moses as His regent. While the Lord did the most part by working in the background, Moses did the most prominent part by splitting the Red Sea. Moses’s authority that brought forth the plagues comes from oneness with God. Every time God speaks, Moses listens. And every time Moses gestures, God works miracles. This was repeated so often such that Moses has become the face of God to them. The closer we are to God, the greater the authority entrusted to us to help establish righteousness in the world. Today’s devotion teaches us: God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him.

Observation

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward…”

Moses, in a state of trepidation cried out to the Lord. Moses’s cries were immediately met with a terse response, “Why are you crying out to Me?” Even though Moses might not have known in detail God’s plan except in its broadest outlines, the Lord’s words revealed His expectation of Moses to bring the people forward. From here on, God’s plan of execution is announced to Moses in a step by step fashion.

Moses was to lift up his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide it. The Israelites would pass through the sea on dry ground. And the Lord would harden the Egyptians’ hearts so that they would go into the sea after the Israelites. The plan was both to ensure safe passage for the Israelites and the destruction of the Egyptians by drowning. To prevent the Israelites from being overrun by the Egyptians, the Lord commanded the angel to stand between the advancing Egyptians and the Israelites.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land.

While the angel in the pillar of cloud kept the Egyptians from advancing, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. At Moses’s gesture, God caused a strong east wind to sweep back the sea all night which dried up the sea and the Israelites went through the sea on dry land. Expectantly, the Egyptians followed the Israelites into the midst of the sea while the Lord impeded their chariots and terrified them by the fiery pillar. So much so the Egyptians acknowledge by their own words: “the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.

The people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.

The Lord instructed Moses to stretch out his hand again to cause the waters to return to normal state. Pharaoh’s entire army was wiped out while the Israelites walked on dry ground between the walls of water. On that day, Israel saw for themselves the omnipotence of God. For never would they have imagined seeing the Egyptians who oppressed them for 400 years dead on the seashore. For the first time, the scriptures recorded the Israelites as fearing the Lord. They have come to trust Moses whom they previously doubted as the regent and prophet of God.

Truth

God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him.

From the first plague to the ninth, and including the splitting of the sea, Moses was seen working in oneness with God. The splitting of the sea was particularly dramatic: Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided (Exodus 14:21). God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him. For every time God speaks, Moses listens. And every time Moses gestures (by stretching out his hand), God works His miracles. This was repeated so often such that Moses has become the face of God to the world. God said to Moses at two instances,

”I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him.” – Exodus 4:15-16

“See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet” – Exodus 7:1

Jesus, throughout His ministry exhibited resolute oneness with the Father. So much so, He has become the face of the Father to the world. He said to His disciple,

“He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” – John 14:9-10

Indeed, God expresses His omnipotence through a man who is one with Him. The closer we are to God, the greater the authority entrusted to us to help establish righteousness in the world.

How can a believer become one with God?

In order to become one with God, we must discover and develop divine chemistry with God. When Moses first met God at the burning bush and conversed with Him, he discovered divine chemistry. And he continued to develop it by listening, talking and obeying God on a daily basis. In developing oneness, Moses empathised with God’s burdens for the Israelites and God empathised with Moses’s weakness (see Exodus 3:1-4:17). Here are the traits of those who are one with God.

  • They see God’s interests as higher than their own.
  • Their chief desire is to fulfil God’s mission for their lives.
  • They desire to know God’s opinion and to please Him.
  • They trust in God believing His words will surely come to pass. They believe Him even without first seeing the evidences.
  • Their only assurance is found in God’s personal directives for them.

Many churchgoers try to impress God by busying themselves in church work. They say to themselves, “If God is impressed with me, He will surely promote and bless me.” Hence, they work to bring more people into the church, they do religious things hoping that people will see them as leaders. And ministers pride themselves on the size of their ministries and showcase their achievements through social media. But God is never impressed by one’s achievements and abilities but by the motives and intends of his heart.

But some who are more noble desire spiritual abilities so that they may help others. But despite their righteous desire they could not obtain it because they lack understanding. Not just of heavenly things, but of earthly things as well. Thus, they could not get pass their hang ups and mental blocks. They are like Nicodemus who was knowledgeable in the scripture, but could not progress in power and authority. Nicodemus said to Jesus after hearing His teachings,

“How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? – John 3:9-12

Nicodemus’s problem lies in his inability to corroborate with scripture what he heard from Jesus. He cannot accept what Jesus taught because the wisdom he possessed to understand scripture was inadequate. And like Pharisees, many trust in their limited wisdom instead of going to Jesus for understanding. Hence, they remained unenlightened. Believers must not reject revelations that seem to contradict scripture at the onset, but seek the face of Jesus for a time who alone is able to enlighten. Over time, the eyes of our heart will be enlightened to receive the glorious inheritance that belongs us (see Ephesians 1:18). That said, Nicodemus humbled himself and willingly set aside his hang ups to seek Jesus. It is through oneness with Jesus that we can truly understand scripture and be enlightened.

In knowing the plans of God, we can be focused on doing our part while letting God do His.

Among the tasks, God only required Moses to split the sea by stretching out his hand and to walk the people to freedom. And later He would stretch out his hand again to return the sea to its normal state. Scripture records the other critical tasks that God did which did not involve Moses: God caused the angel to stand between the advancing Egyptians and the Israelites. He caused the east wind to blow to dry up the sea. He hardened the hearts of the Egyptians, causing them to go into the midst of the sea. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and drive with difficulty. God required Moses only to stretch out his hand to split the sea and later to close it. Subsequently, the people saw Moses as God’s regent and believe in him.

God requires us only to focus on the main tasks and leave the rest to God. Hence, we are to be focused, to do what He has commanded… Nothing more, nothing less. And we are not to worry about countless things that seem important. Indeed, many issues require attention, but not all are ours to solve. Hence, we have to first understand what the plan of God is. Only then, can we work with God and make the most of our time. Paul said,

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:16-17

Many use prayer as an outlet for their worries. Their prayer lists seem to be endless. Even after presenting all their requests to God, they fear they may have missed out some items. To pray is to converse with God, to know what is our part and what is His. In so doing, we can focus on doing our part while letting God do His.

Why did God instruct Moses to use hand gestures to split the sea?

Firstly, Moses’s hand gesture is not a prayer requests to God. Secondly, Moses’s hand gesture was not directed towards God, for God answers to no one except Himself. Thirdly, Moses’s gesture was not directed towards the waters, as man does not possess the power to move objects without touching them. What is the purpose of Moses’s hand gesture? It serves as an explicit signal to the heavenly hosts who possess powers to split the waters. Similarly, a shout from Joshua is the signal that moved the angels to tear down the walls of Jericho. Today, believers need not use physical gestures but only a thought will suffice to move the angels to action. This is because of the indwelling Spirit that perfected our oneness with God. That said, the power of the angels belongs only to him whose will and desire is fully united with God’s.

Application

Are you constantly focused on making yourself more capable? We should above all focus on being one with Christ in all that we say and do. When Christ speaks, I speak. When I act, Christ acts in tandem. And I am the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the hands and feet of Christ in the world. Paul said,

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20

Indeed, divine power and wisdom come to those who are one with God. Set your mind to do the following:

  • When making an important decision, be focused on walking the path that brings you closer to your divine destiny.
  • In any circumstance, be focused in seeking out God’s opinion and counsel.
  • When faced with a crisis, do not turn to the left or the right. But remain focused on what He has directed you to do, and He will fight for you.
  • In any situation, I will first consider what Jesus would say before I say it. And what Jesus would do before doing it.

Do you find the spaces in your mind increasingly cluttered with life’s concerns? And still there is no assurance that things will turn out fine. Seek to understand God’s plans and be focused on doing the right things. And all will be well.

  • When raising children, focus on developing empathy and integrity.
  • When running a business, focus on being fair to the people inside (employees), and being sincere to the people outside (customers).
  • If you are a student, focus on mastering what has been taught today.
  • If you are a leader, focus on speaking and living out the truth.
  • If you are a worker, focus on giving your best and maintaining a clear conscience. For God is your security and rewarder.
  • Do not envy, but focus on giving thanks for the little things that spark joy in your life.

Dear Lord, I have decided in any situation to not worry. But I will instead be focused on following your directives. Do speak to me, and I will listen. When I obey your word, work miracles through me. Use me to build up your people, and tear down the works of the devil. As I seek greater oneness with you, empower me to deliver those who are oppressed. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


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