TEXT:         Exodus 14:13-31


INTRO:       Israel discovered that after 400 years in Egypt the culture had shifted from Joseph’s days of a strong spiritual influence on a nation to a nation whose new Pharaohs “knew not Joseph.”  As the culture around them changed dramatically, they settled in to survival mode … which made them slaves! 


In this new culture we discovered they were living in a nation that was deeply religious, but not godly; that embraced many gods … except of course the God of Israel; and Israel was more and more hated by the Egyptians, and thus the Egyptians were abusing them.


Israel in this condition had learned to simply cry … and survive.  They cried out to God but were afraid of change at the same time.  And frozen in their fear nothing changes until God sends them new leadership that encourages them to trust God and stand up to the culture!  Enter Moses and Aaron … and for a while things only got worse when they encouraged Israel to move from slavery and crying to freedom and confidence in God. 


We are living at similar cross-roads today!  And we will need leadership that can not only help the church to confront our post-Christian culture, but challenge God’s people to be brave enough to trust God to do something about it besides complain or cry over the post-Christian culture we find ourselves in.


PROP. SENT:     We are living in dramatically shifting and challenging times, especially as Christian living in a post-Christian culture.  However, God tells us to remain steady, trust His Word and obey it, and don’t get discouraged when positive results don’t immediately show … He always gets the last word, ALWAYS!




A.   Fear!    Ex. 14:13a

1.   “Do not be afraid…”  All Israel saw was the power of Egypt!

a.   They had become so used to being slaves that they couldn’t think of themselves as freedom fighters!

b.   Egypt’s culture had so controlled their lives that they didn’t think there was any other way to live, or any way to change things.

c.   So they accepted their lives as powerless slaves.

2.   Even after the 10 plagues they continued this … notice Moses’ first words to them as they fled after God’s mighty hand … “Do not be afraid…” Ex. 14:13a

3.   God had already demonstrated His power over all the gods of Egypt … there was a clear basis for them to not be afraid … in fact, the only ones who should have been afraid was the Egyptians … God had just given them his top ten list of reasons to believe in Him!!!


(1.   Egypt’s god Hapi (Nile god – Hapi was worshipped as the source of life - the Nile river; depicted as both a man and a woman with plant shoots or shafts of reeds on its head … remember Moses was found in the Nile among the reeds by Pharaoh’s daughter.) 

(a.   God turns Hapi into a source of death!  (Water to blood, everything in it dies).

(b.   Egypt wasn’t too happy that Hapi was impotent against the God of Israel!

(2.   Egypt’s god Heka or Heqt (Frog goddess – her image was that of a woman’s body with the head of a frog … she was worshipped as the goddess of fertility and abundance)

(a.   God multiplies so many frogs in Egypt that they were literally everywhere, including the bedrooms of the palace!

(b.   God gave them plenty of Heqt!  And shows how impotent she was against the God of Israel.

(3.   Egypt’s god Geb (Geb was “Father Earth” (instead of mother) – he was depicted as a man with a goose on his head …he was the earth god.

(a.   God infects the earth with lice or gnats!  Egyptians priests were fanatics about purity, they shaved their heads and body, washed all the time and fumigated themselves with incense … but everything, and everyone, was covered with them!  The Bible states that not even the magicians in Egypt could match this plague and even they said it was the “finger of God,” – the God of Israel!  (See Ex. 8:18-19)

(b.   There was no way for them to be pure!

(4.   Egypt’s god Khepfi (He was called the “lord of the flies, prince of dung” all insects including dung beetles, called scarabs by the Egyptians … he was depicted with a scarab head.)

(a.   God ruins the land of Egyptian with a plague of insects, including flies.

(b.   Egypt’s god ruined their country!

(5.   Egypt’s god Apis (Apis was the bull god – the Egyptians worshipped cows, they were the original “sacred cows.”

(a.   God strikes dead all the Egyptian’s cattle and livestock

(b.   However, God does not strike the Israelite’s livestock at all … God makes a distinction in the treatment of His people from the Egyptians.

(c.   So much for “sacred cows!”

(6.   Egypt’s god Thoth (He was Egypt’s god of medicine and wisdom – on special occasions the Egyptians sacrificed humans by burning them on an altar, then took their ashes and scattered them into the wind, supposedly so that each toss brought a blessing on the Egyptian people)

(a.   God has Moses and Aaron (High Priest) take ashes off a furnace and toss them into the air and boils breaks out on all the Egyptians and their livestock … so terrible that the magicians couldn’t even stand before Moses to challenge him and Aaron. Ex. 9:8-11)

(b.   Thoth was not very “thothful to help Egypt!”

(7.   Egypt’s goddess Nut (She was the goddess of the sky, depicted as a woman bent over with feet and hands touching the ground, her body the sky overhead.)

(a.   This was the plague of hail and fire (lightening) from the sky!  It destroys everything out in the fields and in unprotected places.

(b.   It is interesting to note that some Egyptians were getting the message, note these verses: Ex. 9:20-21 “Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to being their slaves and their livestock inside.  But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field.”  Obviously some Egyptians were catching on, even some officials in Pharaoh’s household!

(c.   Pharaoh suddenly wasn’t nuts about Nut!

(8.   Egypt’s god Seth, and possibly goddess Isis (He was the god that was supposed to protect crops while she was supposed to protect against locusts.

(a.   God sends a plague of locusts that eats all the crops still standing after the hail. (Ex. 10:5)

(b.   So much for protection and prosperity!  They lose what little they still had left.  Seth and Isis were pitiful gods!

(9.   Egypt’s god Ra (He was the sun god.  He was one of their top gods, who gave light and warmth to everything.  He was their “ra” of sunshine!  Pharoah's own name reflected this god; "Ra-meses" or Rameses.  (which is truly interesting since the second portion of his name was the name "Meses" or Moses.

(a.   God covers the land with a deep darkness for 3 days, so dark no one could even see their hand in front of their face!  (Israel however did have sunshine still!)

(b.   Even their top god didn’t have a “ra” of a chance with the God of Israel!  The sun didn’t come out, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow …

(10.  Egypt’s god Pharaoh!  (The Pharaoh himself was considered god incarnate, and the first born son of Pharaoh was also a god)

(a.   This plague is interesting because no matter who you were … Jew or Egyptian, it would strike all UNLESS the blood of the lamb was applied to the doorposts of your house when the death angel passed over that night!

(b.   It would not matter if you were a circumcised Jew or Egyptian, only if the blood of the lamb had been applied to the entrance of your home!

(c.   This is still true today … only the blood of the lamb Jesus can lift eternal death from us … even if you are a church member, you have to apply the blood of the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

(d.   The first born in all the land died that night where the lamb’s blood had not been applied … including Pharaoh’s first born son!

(e.   Egypt’s living god couldn’t stand against the God of Israel!

4.   What is the point of all this?  God clearly allowed Egypt’s culture to flourish for a while, but when it oppressed His people God stepped in and showed the emptiness of it!

a.   As God’s people we need not fear what is happening in our culture today either!

b.   Even when it mocks us, and our God.

c.   God always gets the last word!

d.   By the way, God wasn’t trying to destroy Egypt, only Egypt’s trust in her gods!

5.   As believers we do not live in FEAR!


B.   Faithful!   Ex. 14:13b

1.   “Stand firm” If we stand firm we will see God’s deliverance!

a.   Standing firm means to not run away, hide, or fall down under duress!

b.   So many Christians today are so afraid of what is happening in our society, don’t think it matters to live for God, or have become sloppy in their walk with God because they just don’t think it is doing any good!

c.   While things might seem to be getting worse, God is getting ready to act!

2.   God is in control of the entire earth, including America!

a.   We need to be more faithful than ever today, not less.

b.   We need the strength that comes from God’s Word, and each other.


C.   Forward!   Ex. 14:13c-22

1.   “Tell the Israelites to move on!  Raise your staff … go through!”

a.   They weren’t supposed to just stand there frightened … they were to keep moving forward!

b.   God moved the cloud of His presence from in front of them to between them and Egypt as a wall and cast Egypt into darkness (again!) … while they watch God’s hand divide the waters of the Red Sea and make their way forward!

2.   God has always done this with His people, there comes a time when God says, “ok, I get the last word and my people have had enough … let’s keep moving forward!”

a.   This will be true in our day too!

b.   God will not abandon His church to the world, or the gates of Hell!

c.   We need to trust that God will come through … even if things get worse for a while.

3.   By the way, remember when Moses showed up to lead them out of slavery, things got worse for them for a period of time!

a.   God doesn’t work on our timetable!

b.   But God always works!

4.   Even in a post-Christian culture the church CAN and WILL move forward!


II.  CLASH OF CULTURES   Ex. 14:23-25


A.   Forceful!   Ex. 14:23

1.   Notice Egypt’s attitude toward Israel now that they were on the move … “The Egyptians pursued them … into the sea!”

a.   Their efforts at enslaving Israel would not stop!

b.   Jesus told us that in this world we will have opposition … always until the end of the age!

c.   But God will be with us!

2.   This world and its ways will always forcibly attempt to contain God’s work.  This should not surprise us, nor exhaust us.


B.   Futile!   Ex. 14:24-25

1.   Please note that no matter the superior power, superior education, and superior numbers … Egypt does not win, nor retake any Israelites back to slavery!

a.   Tragically, Egypt still had not learned from the 10 plagues … if their gods were impotent against the God of Israel what chances do they as mere mortals hope to have in overcoming Israel’s God!

b.   This is the blindness in the mentality of this world … they think they are winning and destroying the church … the truth is that they are setting themselves up for the biggest loss of their lives!

2.   No matter how much the church seems under assault today, we need to believe God has a victorious church … that not even the gates of Hell can prevail against!

a.   The world may seem to be winning for a while … Egypt had been in control for a while.

b.   But God was waiting for the right time to act!

3.   This world will never win, nor will the forces of evil.

4.   Note that God threw Egypt into confusion (Ex. 14:24b)

a.   Their own statement shows that they were finally realizing the futility at fighting against the God of the universe … “Let’s get away from the Israelites!  The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

b.   Their technology even failed them … the chariot wheels got bogged down.  Superior technology couldn’t save them either!




A.   Formidable!   Ex. 14:26-30

1.   Those that ran after God’s people to destroy them were themselves destroyed!

2.   God saved Israel by having them simply walk by faith the path He set in front of them … nothing fancy, simply walking by faith!

3.   God took care of the obstacles in their journey, but they still had to walk!

a.   The Red Sea God created a wall on both sides of them … but God did not fly them over to the other side, they had to walk.

b.   God prevented their enemies from destroying them or enslaving them again … but they still had to walk.

4.   We need to walk by faith, no matter what the culture tells us today; God’s Word is never wrong no matter how convincing the arguments are against it.

a.   Every nation in history that turned away from God (including Israel) collapsed.

b.   But the church has not only survived in history in those nations, the church has exploded into a huge force today in the world.


B.   Freeing!   Ex. 14:31

1.   With Israel’s eyes on the dead Egyptians, and all the ways God demonstrated His great power they were now free!

2.   And notice the immediate change of tone in them:  “the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.”

a.   At least for the moment … 3 days later they were complaining about the lack of water!

b.   It is amazing that they were almost as bad as the Egyptians … they could see God’s powerful hand one day, and only a few days later complain!

3.   This older generation never did stop thinking like slaves, every time they hit a difficult place they expressed to the leadership “why did you bring us out in the desert to die, why didn’t you leave us in Egypt?”

a.   So that faithless generation God let die in the desert!

b.   And they wandered for 40 years until their children could obey and trust God, and stop thinking like slaves!

4.   It was easier to get Israel out of Egypt than it was getting Egypt out of Israel!

a.   How about us … where are you in your walk with God?

b.   Are you complaining in the wilderness … or walking like a free man or woman in faith in spite of the post-Christian culture we are in.

5.   We need to believe God to challenge this culture with His power, not ours!


CONCLUSION:   This is not a time for us to feel that we are losing ground in the changing world; it is a time to walk faithfully with God so that His power is brought to bear on this post-Christian culture.  God will demonstrate our culture's empty gods and power as He works through us His church.  It is time for the church to not only have church services, but be the church in the world.  God wants to free a lot of slaves!  "Do not be afraid, Stand firm, and Keep moving forward."

HAPI           HEQT      GEB                         

HAPI - Nile god   HEQT - Frog goddess                 GEB - Earth                         KEPHI - Lord of the Flies      APIS - Cattle god           THOTH - Medicine god     NUT - Sky goddess        SETH - Locust god     RA - Sun god     Pharoah - god in flesh