Exodus 14

* God directs the Israelites to Pihahiroth, Pharaoh pursues

after them. (1-9) The Israelites murmur, Moses comforts them.

(10-14) God instructs Moses, The cloud between the Israelites

and the Egyptians. (15-20) The Israelites pass through the Red

sea, which drowns the Egyptians. (21-31)

1-9 Pharaoh would think that all Israel was entangled in the

wilderness, and so would become an easy prey. But God says, I

will be honoured upon Pharaoh. All men being made for the honour

of their Maker, those whom he is not honoured by, he will be

honoured upon. What seems to tend to the church's ruin, is often

overruled to the ruin of the church's enemies. While Pharaoh

gratified his malice and revenge, he furthered the bringing to

pass God's counsels concerning him. Though with the greatest

reason he had let Israel go, yet now he was angry with himself

for it. God makes the envy and rage of men against his people, a

torment to themselves. Those who set their faces heavenward, and

will live godly in Christ Jesus, must expect to be set upon by

Satan's temptations and terrors. He will not tamely part with

any out of his service.
10-14 There was no way open to Israel but upward, and thence

their deliverance came. We may be in the way of duty, following

God, and hastening toward heaven, yet may be troubled on every

side. Some cried out unto the Lord; their fear led them to pray,

and that was well. God brings us into straits, that he may bring

us to our knees. Others cried out against Moses; fear set them

murmuring as if God were not still able to work miracles. They

quarrel with Moses for bringing them out of Egypt; and so were

angry with God for the greatest kindness ever done them; thus

gross are the absurdities of unbelief. Moses says, Fear ye not.

It is always our duty and interest, when we cannot get out of

troubles, yet to get above our fears; let them quicken our

prayers and endeavours, but not silence our faith and hope.

"Stand still," think not to save yourselves either by fighting

or flying; wait God's orders, and observe them. Compose

yourselves, by confidence in God, into peaceful thoughts of the

great salvation God is about to work for you. If God brings his

people into straits, he will find a way to bring them out.
15-20 Moses' silent prayers of faith prevailed more with God

than Israel's loud outcries of fear. The pillar of cloud and

fire came behind them, where they needed a guard, and it was a

wall between them and their enemies. The word and providence of

God have a black and dark side toward sin and sinners, but a

bright and pleasant side toward the people of the Lord. He, who

divided between light and darkness, #Ge 1:4|, allotted darkness

to the Egyptians, and light to the Israelites. Such a difference

there will be between the inheritance of the saints in light,

and that utter darkness which will be the portion of hypocrites

for ever.
21-31 The dividing the Red sea was the terror of the

Canaanites, #Jos 2:9|; the praise and triumph of the Israelites,

#Ps 114:3; 106:9; 136:13|. It was a type of baptism, #1Co

10:1,2|. Israel's passage through it was typical of the

conversion of souls, #Isa 11:15|; and the Egyptians being

drowned in it was typical of the final ruin of all unrepenting

sinners. God showed his almighty power, by opening a passage

through the waters, some miles over. God can bring his people

through the greatest difficulties, and force a way where he does

not find it. It was an instance of his wonderful favour to his

Israel. They went through the sea, they walked upon dry land in

the midst of the sea. This was done, in order to encourage God's

people in all ages to trust him in the greatest straits. What

cannot he do who did this? What will not he do for those that

fear and love him, who did this for these murmuring, unbelieving

Israelites? Then followed the just and righteous wrath of God

upon his and his people's enemies. The ruin of sinners is

brought on by their own rage and presumption. They might have

let Israel alone, and would not; now they would flee from the

face of Israel, and cannot. Men will not be convinced, till it

is too late, that those who meddle with God's people, meddle to

their own hurt. Moses was ordered to stretch out his hand over

the sea; the waters returned, and overwhelmed all the host of

the Egyptians. Pharaoh and his servants, who had hardened one

another in sin, now fell together, not one escaped. The

Israelites saw the Egyptians dead upon the sands. The sight very

much affected them. While men see God's works, and feel the

benefit, they fear him and trust in him. How well were it for

us, if we were always in as good a frame as sometimes! Behold

the end to which a Christian may look forward. His enemies rage,

and are mighty; but while he holds fast by God, he shall pass

the waves in safety guarded by that very power of his Saviour,

which shall come down on every spiritual foe. The enemies of his

soul whom he hath seen to-day, he shall see no more for ever.
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