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Take Your Stand Hold your Peace (Exodus 14:14)

Sermon on 16 July 2023 by Pastor Gaius Lee

Exodus 14:14 - “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”” Exodus 14:1-14 - “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so. Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”” God had seen the Israelites suffer, just like how He has seen us suffer too. He promised them that they will go to the promised land. They have been suffering for many years and were waiting for God to deliver them. God told Moses His plan in verse 1. When they leave Egypt, they should take this certain path and stay at a certain camp. From Egypt to the promised land, it is actually quite a short distance. But God made them walk a longer way as seen in Exodus 13:17. Sometimes we wonder why God makes us walk the longer way. He has His own intent that we might not understand. Exodus 13:17 - “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”” The Pharaoh thought that they were stuck as he assumed that they would walk the shorter way. God is merciful but this Pharaoh rejected God so many times. If we can solve problems in our own ways, when others see it, who will they give credit to? People will most likely praise you but not give glory to God. The recipient of the praise might not even give glory to God. So the Israelites walked in that path so that His name will be glorified. Numbers 33:1-7 - “These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord. And these are their journeys according to their starting points: They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had killed among them. Also on their gods the Lord had executed judgments. Then the children of Israel moved from Rameses and camped at Succoth. They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness. They moved from Etham and turned back to Pi Hahiroth, which is east of Baal Zephon; and they camped near Migdol.” This is the starting point of Exodus. In order to chase them, the Pharaohs brought out his best and fastest vehicle. He thought that it was the best choice. When news went back to Israel, they blamed Moses and Aaron. If your previous master was coming to catch you and your children, how would you feel? It is a very negative situation and news. However, this chariot was actually what caused the Pharaoh’s downfall later. When the Israelites saw the problem coming, they feared. If the children didn’t open their eyes, they would not see the problem and probably wouldn’t be as scared. Like the Israelites, our first feeling would likely be fear. If the passage stopped at verse 10, there is nothing wrong in what they did because God’s name is glorified when they cried out to Him. However, they started doubting and pushing the blame to their leaders. They forgot about God and gave up on Him. The Pharaohs came to capture the Israelites but for Moses and the leaders, it was likely going to be a death penalty. They should have been more fearful than the people. However, God’s blessings and promises are in the promised land. Moses got his assurance from the One who gave him the plan. He trusted God a lot because it was Him who gave him the plan. He knew that it was to give glory to God. God is always here with us. Even if the situation is beyond our control, we will really not be afraid. If the enemies are defeated, it is not his ability but God’s will. He trusted that God would bring them out of Egypt and sin. Moses has faith in God and was shown through His actions. He initially didn’t want to be a leader but he still obeyed God in the end. Traits of being fearful are to see, be scared, suspect and surrender. However, having faith in God is to submit, stand, be still and see. Exodus 14:15 - “And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Amen.

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