March 20, 2023

Israel Crosses the Red Sea

Exodus 14

Sharhonda Conner
Monday's Devo

March 20, 2023

Monday's Devo

March 20, 2023

Big Idea

God reveals the way and His will through His Word.

Key Verse | Jude 1:5

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Exodus 14

Crossing the Red Sea

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

15 The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night 1 14:20 Septuagint and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, 25 clogging 2 14:25 Or binding (compare Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac); Hebrew removing their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.”

26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw 3 14:27 Hebrew shook off the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.


[1] 14:20 Septuagint and the night passed
[2] 14:25 Or binding (compare Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac); Hebrew removing
[3] 14:27 Hebrew shook off

"The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart? How do we make sense of this?"

Listen Now

Dive Deeper | Exodus 14

Exodus 14 is one of my favorite accounts of God displaying His love for us. In previous chapters of Exodus, God showed His strength through the plagues, His provision in the Israelites leaving with plunder from the Egyptians, and His mercy in continuing to love the Israelites despite their fear, doubt, and lack of faith. Here He is showing His presence when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea.

Exodus 14:19 states, "Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them." Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of God's presence in our lives, especially when He's placing Himself between us and what we don't need to turn back to. Psalm 139:5 says, "You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me." The Israelites feared the sea before them and thought it better to return to Egypt and serve the Egyptians behind them. They didn't realize God was still with them. He was still guiding them, but now, in His love, had placed Himself behind them, between the Israelites and Egyptians before parting the Red Sea.

There is a miracle in God parting the Red Sea, but the protection of His presence is far greater to recognize. Often, we look for the miracles of healing, financial provision, or near misses of tragedy, but forget the miracle of a perfect and holy God choosing to love us, redeem us, and give us eternal life despite our sin and selfishness.

Jude 1:5 reminds the readers that Jesus saved the people out of Egypt, but that destruction awaits those who don't believe. Although God does desire to bless us, the biggest thing He blesses us with is Himself. Be in awe of what God did but be in greater awe of His presence that dwells in us through the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

This month's memory verse

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

– John 14:27

Discussion Questions

1. Where can you see Jesus in Exodus 14? (Hint: look at Exodus 14:19)

2. What "Red Sea" are you standing in front of?

3. What are the "Egyptians" that you're wanting to turn back to out of fear?

4. Will you walk through in faithfulness when He parts your "Red Sea," trusting His path, even if it's not what you want?

Respond to Today's Passage

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Hugh Stephenson

RESPOND TO TODAY'S PASSAGE GM Sharhonda. Love your devo and your link to to the verses, especially Psalm 139! Q1. Rah Rah Shekinah! Q2 & Q3. Before me…retirement and life after work…with no income from my labors. Behind me…Business owner, established identity, secure income. But long hours, heavy travel, intense poressure and strees. Q4. This is my key prayer- for Him to reveal wht the nextstep of faithfulkness is for me. Late 2018/early 2019- Saved & surrendered as much as possible…but starting to drift. My connection to Jesus was weakening and becoming sporadic. I felt like I was carrying a 100 pound backpack. Prodigak chaos was increasing. Amy and I were fine but increasingly stressed. I heard about the online equipping course called Following Jesus. In March 2019 I jumped in. One of the core curriculum reads was John Ortberg’s book “The Life You Always Wanted’. My hope soared. He was right on.

Hugh Stephenson

Saturday April 6, 2019. 4:00 service. The sermon: ‘unclogging your pipe’. I realized he was describing exactly where I was. I was “hitting the wall”. He laid out spiritual practices to help break through. I began to follow them each morning and evening. Good doors opened. Bad door closed. 2020 was an incredibly tough year. 2021-2022 were only a bit less tough. God showed me He was constantly training me to be His man- SO THAT I could have the life I always wanted. Grumble? Yes. But His path kept me on track. I see the dynamic the Israelites were in as they got to the Red Sea. Happy and joyous. Now rich with all kinds of plunder from the Egyptians. Then…here they come. The first of 10 grumbling sessions start. They want to go back to their ‘slavery”. There were times like that for me.

Hugh Stephenson

PROTECTION. God’s was with them. I love the image of the Shekinah being in front of them and behind them. He gave them a path and away they went. They were promised the life they always wanted. Yet when it was clear that the preparation and testing would be incredibly tough, they balked. 2 Timothy 3:16- All 7,487 promises of God are true. All the blessings are real. Even so, my takeaway is that following Jesus takes a 100% commitment. Burn the ships. What we’ll see in a few more chapters is that the Israelites lose focus and therefore trust. The price is tragic. My prayer is to continue to seek to surrender my will to His so that I never, ever lose this life that is the one I always wanted.

Michael Sisson

Re: Ex 14:4 Ex 14:4 (NASB) “Thus I will *[Lit make strong] harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and >>>I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army,<<< and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” And they did so. See Rom 9:17. Re: Ex 14:14 Ex 14:14 (NASB) >>>“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”<<< Re: Ex 14:16 Ex 14:16 (NIV) Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that >>>the Israelites can go through the sea<<< on dry ground. See 1Cor 10:2. Re: Ex 14:17 Ex 14:17 (NASB) “As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and >>>I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.<<< Re: Ex 14:19 Ex 14:19 (NASB) >>>The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them;<<< and >>>the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.<<< Re: Ex 14:24 Ex 14:24 (NASB) At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the >>>pillar of fire and cloud<<< and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. See “fire” in 1Cor 3:15 and “cloud” in Lk 21:27. “The new Passover happened >>>because the pillar of cloud and fire—though now in a strange and haunting form, the likeness of a battered and crushed human being—had come back to deliver the people.<<< The covenant was renewed because of the blood that symbolized the utter commitment of God to his people, the lifeblood that spoke of divine protection, of God’s self-giving love. Paul, in Acts 20: 28, speaks of “the church of God, which he purchased with his very own blood.” Forgiveness happened because the “arm of YHWH” was “wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53: 5). The cross became the encoded symbol as well as the actual outworking of the dying, and hence the undying, love of Israel’s God.” — N.T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion Re: Ex 14:27 See Ex 15:1,21; Dt 11:4; Ps 78:53; Ps 106:11; Ps136:15; Heb 11:29; Ex 15:19; Jos 24:7; Ex 15:5; Ne 9:11 Re: Ex 14:31 Ex 14:31 (NASB) When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they >>>believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.<<< See pp Jn 14:1. Jude 1:5 (NASB) Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that >>>the Lord [Two early mss read “Jesus”], after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.<<< See also Lv 11:45, Judges 2:1 This would fit typologically with Ex 12:5. Some recognize Yeshua (Jesus), our Passover (1Cor 5:7), as a Sheep (the Lamb) Whom they trust and obey. Whereas others view Him as a Goat (the L-rd's Goat), Whom they fail to trust and obey. One L-rd…two different perceptions; two different outcomes.

Connor Rose

2. My "red sea" that I can't cross is depression. It seems like no matter what I do it always has at least a partial hold on me and is present because of darkness. It makes sense though. Just like it took a lot of power to split the sea and close it. A lot of my issues will need divine intervention to overcome.

Sue Bohlin

Thanks so much, Sharhonda! This chapter--this story--is the highlight of the entire Old Testament. We cannot underestimate its importance in what it reveals about God's power to save, His good intention toward His people, and His ability to free ALL people--not just the Israelites--from the bondage of sin. The impossibility of the stage set-up reminds us of His wonderful question in Jeremiah 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh--is anything too difficult for me?" This morning I get to read this amazing story on the heels of a weekend retreat with Living Hope Ministries, a discipleship ministry for those dealing with unwanted homosexuality, whether their own struggles or those of a family member caught in the weeds of gender and sexual brokenness. I was surrounded by people who are walking in sexual and relational sobriety by the power of Jesus Christ, bringing glory to Him by living changed lives that the world would say can't happen. I heard a firsthand story of a miraculous healing. I saw the beautiful fruit of people who came to Living Hope as wounded and hurting sheep, now transformed into loving and effective shepherds. The same Jesus who escorted the Israelites through the sea on dry land, walked my friends through the discipleship process of surrender, denying themselves to follow Him, and transformation into people shiny with His glory and beauty. The story of the Exodus is still happening today. God is still setting people free. And if you're in the Dallas area, come to Re:generation at Watermark on Monday nights, or at CityBridge in Plano on Tuesday nights!

Chris Landry

Hey y'all! In the busyness .... praying this scripture's truth over us now. In today's join the journey… According to when Moses was leading over 1M (maybe 2M) people through the desert and up to the supposed dead end at the banks of the Red Sea.... all the Israelites are wigging out thinking they are good as dead. God speaks to Moses… --- “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to BE STILL.”” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭14‬ ‭NIV‬‬ “RAISE YOUR STAFF AND STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭16‬ ‭NIV‬‬ --- These are not contradictory verses. One could say Moses raising his staff and stretching out his hand is the opposite of being still. I strongly believe the hand raising and staff lifting stemmed from the faith he had in his heart that God already had the solution figured out. So....praying we can have that faith today. May we lift our hands knowing the sea is parting soon. (What is soon anyways!? I don't even know how to reference "time" anymore! See also chapter 7 in AW Tozer's book "The Knowledge of the Holy"🤯😂)

Sharhonda Conner

Thank you all for sharing your takeaways and answers to how God is working in your lives. It is encouraging to be reminded, as Sue mentioned, that God is the same God then that He is now. As we face those Red Seas, we have only to be silent, but as Chris wrote, lift our hands in faith as we trust God that He has the solution figured out. Hugh thanks for sharing so openly and Michael thank you for sharing your notes. Connor, keep drawing near to Him and take Sue up on re:generation if you're in the Dallas area. We are promised trouble in this fallen world (John 16:33), but we can take heart and draw on His strength as Jesus has overcome. Glad to be on this journey with you all studying God's word!

Amy Lowther

1. I can see Jesus in Exodus 14 when it says the cloud and darkness lit up the night. Jesus usually helps everyone and everything light up. 2. I am standing in front of the Red Sea of jobs working to advance into a new job. 3. A certain traffic route home has too much construction and a very hard turn because of the construction. Luckily, God is with all drivers and I will survive. 4. Yes, I will listen to God as the Red Sea I face parts.