Well, Israel has escaped from Egypt, but the mighty power of Pharaoh still overshadows them. After letting them go, Pharaoh has his mind changed and he decides to pursue Israel into the wilderness. Notice how God is working in all of this to complete judgement on Pharaoh (directing Israel to a vulnerable place and hardening Pharaoh’s heart so that he stubbornly persists in his rebellion.) All of these lead to the climactic moment of deliverance in the Old Testament. Israel is delivered from the oppressive power of Egypt when they pass through the waters of judgment, but the Egyptian army is swallowed up behind them. Following the Red Sea crossing, Moses sings about God’s work of deliverance. The end result of this whole ordeal is that God was revealed to be the ultimate judge with power to direct earthly affairs and the powers of Pharaoh are severely limited. Together with the Passover, this judgment at the Red Sea becomes the definitive account of salvation in the Old Testament. What we see is that God brings our salvation by removing our enemies. The Passover reminds us that we need God’s mercy for ourselves if we are going to withstand his day of judgment.
Reflect: Rather lead Israel by a safe and easy way, God directs them to go to a place where their backs are against the sea and they have no other options. How has God used desperate circumstances in your life to make you lean on him more deeply? Is that happening now?
Connect: Paul compares the Red Sea crossing to the salvation that Christians experience in Christ. He spoke of the Israelites as being “baptized into Moses” when they accompanied him through the Red Sea. The parallel idea is that when we believe in Christ we are connected to him by faith and we experience deliverance through him. Christians pass through the judgment of God because they are in Christ. Baptism is a picture of our union with Christ. Because Jesus endure the judgment of God on our behalf, we pass through it “in him.”
I Corinthians 10:1-2 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea...
Romans 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.