Ex. 14:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Ex. 14:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
Ex. 14:3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
Ex. 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.
Again, the LORD speaks to Moses and tells him to have the Israelites turn back and encamp by the sea in a certain area to make the Pharaoh think that they are wandering the desert in confusion. He is going to harden Pharaoh’s heart to the point that he will pursue them. This will allow Him to put the exclamation point on the fact that He is THE LORD. The Israelites obeyed.
Ex. 14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
Ex. 14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
Ex. 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
Ex. 14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.
Ex. 14:9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
Sure enough, once Pharaoh figured out that his slave labor was gone, he decided to go after them. He took 600 of the best chariots and all the other chariots in Egypt and their commanders. The Israelites had left “with an high hand” (confident and bold). The Egyptians pursued the Israelites and caught up to them at the sea.
Ex. 14:10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Ex. 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Ex. 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
As soon as the Israelites realized that they were caught, they were no longer bold and confident—they were scared. They began crying out in fear to the LORD and to Moses. All of a sudden, they were wishing they had never left Egypt; it would have been better to stay in slavery there than to die in the desert.
These people had witnessed first hand the mighty power of God through the plagues in Egypt, and still they gave Him no credit for being able to save them. I’d like to think that even my hard head would have trusted the LORD implicitly after witnessing His power so recently and personally. The sad thing is that when I examine my own life, I can see the same lack of faith after times of great blessing. It grieves me to know how that must sadden my “Father.” The desire of my heart is to have a strong, conquering faith that never waivers, despite what the enemy throws in my path. “LORD, I believe; help my unbelief.”
Mark 9:24 …Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Ex. 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Ex. 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Moses patiently speaks to the people. He tells them not to be afraid; God is going to deliver them from the Egyptians once for all. All they had to do was be still and watch the LORD fight for them.
Ex. 14:15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
Ex. 14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
Ex. 14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
Ex. 14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
The Lord basically tells Moses to tell the people to quit crying and move forward. Moses was to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea and the water would divide so that the Israelites could cross over on dry ground. The pride of the Egyptians would cause them to follow right after them because of their hardened hearts. Through the destruction of the Egyptian army God would be glorified. Egypt would have to recognize God as LORD.
Ex. 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
Ex. 14:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
Ex. 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
Ex. 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
The angel of God had been in front of Israel’s army and withdrew to their rear. The pillar of cloud also moved to the rear to come between the armies of Egypt and Israel. It kept the Egyptians in the dark and the Israelites in the light for the rest of the night. Moses stretched out his hand, and God used an east wind to drive the sea back and dry the ground in between the divided waters. The Israelites crossed on the dry ground between the walls of water. It reads so simply, but the miracle was so great! The sea floor turns to dry ground flanked by great walls of water!
(3/05) 1Corinthians 10:1-4 identifies Christ as the spiritual rock that followed them.
1Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Cor. 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Cor. 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Cor. 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed (Greek = accompanied) them: and that Rock was Christ.
Ex. 14:23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
Ex. 14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
Ex. 14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
Ex. 14:26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
Ex. 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
Ex. 14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
Towards the morning the Egyptians pursued the Israelites through the midst of the waters. The LORD threw them into great confusion and made the wheels of their chariots come off. The Egyptians realized that the LORD was intervening for Israel and tried to run. But Moses stretched out his hand again in obedience to God, and the waters came together again. Not one of the Pharaoh’s army survived.
Ex. 14:29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
Ex. 14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
Ex. 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.
That day the Israelites saw their deliverance at the hand of God again. They saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. After seeing God’s mighty hand of power on their behalf again, the people feared the LORD and believed Him and His servant Moses. This belief represented a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge as future actions will prove.
Usually, I think of the fear of the LORD as reverential awe and wonder. I would imagine that after such a display of God’s power on their behalf, some of the people were in fear and trembling.
Throughout history men have tried to explain away this great miracle. Some have even tried to explain that the reference was to a much smaller sea of reeds. Scripture declares otherwise.
Psalms 106:9–11 “He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.”
Isaiah 51:10 “Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?”
The LORD brought His people through the depths of the sea and drowned every single one of their enemies (the Pharaoh’s troops and their chariots).