Passage: Exodus 13:17-14:31
Speaker: Steve Hands
Series: Coming Home – A Journey Through Exodus
Believing In God’s Name
God grows our faith through the waters of chaos. Sometimes we wonder why God allows chaos to envelop us, but we see that the LORD actually leads them into the wilderness (Exod 13:18) toward the sea of chaos (14:2). So when Pharaoh comes with his mighty army so that the people of God are trapped between that army and the Red Sea, they blame God for the chaos they faced; in fact they fear greatly and blame Moses for this terrible chaos (14:11–12). Why does God allow such chaos to envelop his people? God loves to grow the faith of his people through the waters of chaos. More specifically we see that as we are led to the waters of chaos, we believe (Exod 14:5–14) so that we step out in obedience (14:15–25) so that we might see the glory of the LORD (14:26–31).
God often uses the waters of chaos to grow our faith; as we are led to the waters of chaos we believe (Exod 14:5–14). God clearly leads his people to the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army behind them to destroy them, so they naturally fear greatly at their perilous situation (14:10). And they blame Moses for bringing them out of Egypt (14:11–12). Yet the chaos of this wilderness tests their faith as Moses declares, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD . . . . The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (14:13–14). Similarly when we face the waters of chaos, when we feel our own inability, this can be the laboratory and growth edge of our faith so that we can believe.
Yet faith does not grow in a vacuum; we believe so that we step out in obedience (14:15–25). Faith acts; it is not passive. God says, “Why do you cry out to me?” (14:15). The people have been crying out in fear (14:10), but God calls them to step out in obedience. Moses must lift up his staff, exercising the authority that he already carries (14:16). And as Moses lifts up his hand, then the LORD drives back the sea (14:21). Similarly the people must also step forward in obedience; they must walk through on dry ground (14:22). Similarly faith without works is dead; faith must always take a step of obedience.
Finally, as we step out in obedience, we see glory of the LORD (14:26–31). God’s glory is seen in judgment toward the Egyptians (15:27–28), but His glory is seen in salvation for the people of God (14:29–30). And as they see that glory, they put their trust in the LORD Almighty.
So what? We often despair at the waters of chaos that rise against us. These waters of the Red Sea represent the waters of sin that destroy the people of God. Yet the waters of sin become the waters of baptism; just as the people of Israel passed through the waters of the Red Sea to be saved from Egypt, so the people of God pass through the waters of baptism to be saved from the power of sin. We must not fear the waters of chaos. As we are led to the waters of chaos, may we believe and step out in obedience so that we also might see the glory of the LORD.