Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple

Sunday School Lesson
September 12, 1999
Golden Text: Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord,
                which he will show you today.---Exodus 14:13

Scripture: Exodus 13:17-22; 14:21-22, 26-31
Lesson Subject: Crossing the Red Sea

Exo 13:17  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led
them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for
God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return
to Egypt:
Exo 13:18  But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the
Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 13:19  And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn
the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my
bones away hence with you.
Exo 13:20  And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in
the edge of the wilderness.
Exo 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead
them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and
night:
Exo 13:22  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by
night, from before the people.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.

Introduction:

After God called to Moses out of the burning bush, the Lord told him that he had
seen and heard the cry of Israel in their affliction.  The Lord said I am come down
to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and will take them to a good land
flowing with milk and honey.  God also told Moses that He would send him unto
Pharaoh to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Moses went back to Egypt to
call his people out and unto Pharaoh to free them from their bondage.  Pharaoh
resisted the command of God to release Israel.  Therefore, the Lord said that he
would harden the heart of Pharaoh and multiply his signs and wonders in the land
of Egypt.  Exodus chapters 7-13 tell of all the signs and wonders God performed to
harden Pharaoh’s heart and to increase the faith of Israel in God’s promise to
deliver them.

The final sign or wonder that God performed that convinced Pharaoh to let God’s
people go was to pass through the land and smite all of the first born of Egypt.  To
protect themselves Israel was commanded by the Lord to strike blood on the two
side posts and upper door post of their houses.  And when death comes by, the Lord
said when I see the blood I will pass over you and this is to be an memorial unto you.
And this brings us into our lesson for today as Israel prepares to cross the Red Sea.

Israel Prepares to Cross the Red Sea.  (Exodus 13:17-21)

“When Pharaoh had let the people go”(vs.17)---”But God had led the people about”
(vs. 18).  The shortest way to the Promise land was through the land of the
Philistines but the Lord wanted to avoid bringing his people into war.  Knowing the
weakness of Israel’s faith, God led the people another way because He didn’t want
them fleeing back to Egypt when they saw their enemy coming.  God is always
protective of his people and will provide a way to escape for them because, “The
LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they
that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken
them that seek thee”(Psa 9:9-10).  Therefore, He took them by way of the Red Sea
or the “Sea of Reeds”, which comes from the Hebrew word “yam suph” meaning sea
of reeds.  “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but
God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will
with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”(1 Cor
10:13).  The people went up harnessed, meaning they were in orderly columns in
obedience to their leaders.  We serve a God of order and Israel didn’t leave Egypt
as a wild motley crowd as modern movies have portrayed them.
 

“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him”(vs. 19).  Joseph whom God sent to
Egypt by way of misfortune became the preserver of Israel in Egypt.  Before his
death he made a request that his bones be taken with Israel when God delivers them
from Egypt.  “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit
you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to
Isaac, and to Jacob.  And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God
will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence”(Gen 50:24-25).
Not only were Joseph’s bones taken with them but the bones of Jacob and each
tribe’s patriarch were taken.  “So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and
our fathers, And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that
Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father Sychem”(Acts
7:15-16).

“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud”---”and by night in a
pillar of fire”(vs. 21)---”And he took not away the pillar of cloud nor the pillar of
fire”(vs. 22).  It was the Lord Jesus that went before them as a pillar of cloud or fire.
The Apostle Paul states, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted,
and were destroyed of serpents.  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also
murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer”(1 Cor 10:9-10).  It was Jesus
whose Spirit they tempted in the wilderness and it was he who led them to the
Promise land.  The pillar of cloud and fire was the symbol of Divine presence, Israel
needed to see and experience the continual presence of God.  Moses didn’t know the
way, therefore all of Israel, no matter how far back in the column could see the ever
presence of God and not lose faith.

Crossing the Red Sea.  (Exodus 14:21-22)

“And the Lord caused the sea to go back”(vs.21)---”And the children of Israel went
into the midst of the sea upon dry ground”(vs. 22). The Lord had hardened
Pharaoh’s heart more, so he and his army chased after Israel.  Israel saw Pharaoh’s
army coming and they feared.  Moses gave them words of confidence, “And said
unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which
he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see
them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your
peace”(Exo 14:13-14).  The Lord now makes a way of escape when he tells Moses,
“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”(Exo
14:16).

The waters of the sea walled up and a strong east wind blew and the people went
through on dry ground.  The place where they went through is about ninety feet
deep and twelve miles long, only the power of God can move this volume of water,
hold it back and dry up the ground.  And Israel went through the sea on dry
ground.  Paul says of this incident that, “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; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And
did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for
they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”(1
Cor 10:1-4). Pharaoh’s army followed and the walls of water closed up and they were all
drowned in the sea and never seen again.  Our Golden Text (Exo 14:13) reminds us
to not live in fear but to confidently wait in faith on God and we will see the
salvation of the Lord  Here we have the baptism of Moses, in the gospels we have the
baptism of John and in the church age we have the baptism of Jesus in Acts 2:38.

Pharaoh’s Army Destroyed and Israel is Saved.  (Exodus 14:26-31)

Verses 26-28 describe the destruction of Pharaoh and his army in the sea.  As the
Egyptians chased after the children of Israel into the sea they didn’t retain in their
mind the power of Moses’s God and what the Lord done to them back in Egypt.
The writer of Romans said, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their
knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are
not convenient”(Rom 1:28).  The heathen or the unbeliever has no fear of God and
will many times lash out in anger to their own hurt.  Moses at God’s command
stretched out his rod over the sea and it returned. The following morning Israel saw
the remains of Pharaoh’s army dead in the sea.  The Psalm writer said, “But the
wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they
shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away”(Psa 37:20).  The children of
the Lord should not fear their adversaries, no matter how strong they appear
because God will fight your battles and bring your enemies to nought.

Verses 29-31 describe God’s deliverance of Israel as they walked on dry ground in
the midst of high walls of water on both sides of them held back by God.  And they
were saved from the Egyptians physically and spiritually.  Being separated from the
many gods of the Egyptians, they could now be instructed how to worship the one
and only true and living God.  One cannot worship God and Baal and that is why
we must separate ourselves from the rudiments of the world and become a living
sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord.  Because we are in the world but not of
the world.  As the Lord presented himself strong before Israel, he has now presented
himself strong to the church by the power of the Holy Ghost.  We will all have our
Red Sea experience when the enemy will appear to have us trapped between the
mountains and the sea.  God will open up unto us a way of escape and all we have to
do is stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
 

Conclusions:

The scriptures tell us that God desires no man to perish but that all men come unto
repentance.  Our lesson doesn’t specifically mention repentance but to influence a
people who had been living in bondage for more than 400 years, a change of mind
was needed for them to leave Egypt.  Because in Leviticus where they rebelled
against God and Moses and grew tired of the manna God was providing they said,
“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the
melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried
away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes”(Lev 11:5-6).  Man
must have a repenting spirit in order to obey and follow God.  This verse shows that
Israel had a desire to stay in Egypt (symbolic of sin) because they enjoyed it even in
their afflictions.  But God showed himself strong and merciful and they chose to
follow God.  We also chose to follow Jesus rather than to remain in a life of sin.  As
the Lord delivered Israel he is delivering us.
 
 

By: Eld. H. Watson
       hlwj2@aol.com