This blog post will cover the devotionals #60-63 for Exodus Chapter 14.
**Pictures will be added at a later date.
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 Exodus 14:1-9
They were already growing weary in their travels and wondered where they were heading. Some already began to fear Pharaoh would pursue them. God had them turn and camp ahead of Pi-hahiroth, which was between Migdol and the Red Sea (against Baal-zephon). He explained to Moses that Pharaoh would recognize Israel was trapped in the wilderness and see an opportunity to get them back. His heart would be hardened once again, and they’d follow Israel into the wilderness, but God would be glorified—Egypt would know once and for all that God was the Lord. Pharaoh found out Israel had continued traveling south towards the Red Sea, rather than lingering in the desert to sacrifice. He’d likely still anticipated that after worshipping three days away, they’d return to slavery under him. Now he was angry and asked why they’d let them go from their service to Egypt. How could they still be so stubborn after all that’d happened? They shook themselves off and decided that the deaths of the firstborns were merely coincidental and natural—nothing to do with God’s prophecy or power. Pharaoh prepared his chariot, along with six hundred choice chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt—and each had a captain. He hard-heartedly pursued Israel with his entire army (foot-soldiers and all) and overtook them at the encampment by the sea. Pharaoh himself led the army, and to ensure their gods were appeased, the Egyptian priests also joined them. It’s amazing to think of how all the strength and leadership of the heathen country headed out to their fate—thinking their massive company could intimidate Moses and Israel. They didn’t want other nations to mock them because they’d been forced to submit to God—so they intended to recover both their reputation and their slave laborers.
 Exodus 14:10-14
As Pharaoh got close to Israel, they looked up and saw them approaching, and were terrified. They cried out to God, and to Moses, saying, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt with us this way—to bring us out of Egypt? Is this not what we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone, so we may serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than for us to die in the wilderness.” Moses marveled that, after all they’d witnessed, they still doubted God’s power to save. He’d done everything exactly as he’d been told—so how could they still blame him for their apparent fate? Yet, because of that fact, he wasn’t afraid of what could happen, and responded saying, “Do not fear, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show you today: because you will see the Egyptians whom you have seen today no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you will hold your peace.” They were out of control with fear and anger—growing more violent. The pillar of cloud they once viewed as comforting now struck their minds as something that foreshadowed their doom—it was, after all, what’d guided them into the place where they were now trapped.
 Exodus 14:15-25
Just when all thought Egypt would overcome, that same cloud the Hebrews now despised lifted into the sky, passed over Israel, and settled down between the two. It gave incredible light throughout the night to Israel on their side, but darkness to Egypt on their side. Thus, Egypt couldn’t see to approach Israel’s camp all night. Israel’s hope was restored, and Moses called out to God. Verse 15 says He told Moses, “Why are you crying to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” They were trapped on all sides. To their left and right were mountains. Behind them was the advancing Egyptian army. Ahead of them was the Red Sea. Telling the people to go forward meant to enter the sea. God told Moses what to do with the same rod he’d used in Egypt to signal the wonders and plagues. “Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel will go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Once again, God told Moses that Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened, and they’d follow Israel into the sea—and God would be glorified to them. That night, Moses lifted his rod over the sea, and God sent a strong easterly wind to push the sea back the whole night, so it was divided and revealed dry ground. The light from the pillar illuminated the foamy surfaces of the watery walls—like road lamps along the highway—allowing them undaunting passage to the other end. Psalm 77:19, 20 says, “Your way is in the sea, and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Israel went forward. Even despite seeing the miracle with their own eyes (which future enemies only needed to hear about to be impacted), Egypt's hearts weren’t melted, and they continued their pursuit of Israel (not with the intent to join them in their search for God). They followed Israel into the sea—all the people, chariots, and horses. God was still in the pillar cloud / fire between them and the Israelites, and it says that, in the morning, He looked at them through the pillar and troubled them. The cloud suddenly became fire in front of them. Psalm 77:17, 18 says that “The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound: Your arrows also went abroad. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightning lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.” There was a thunderstorm, and the Egyptians were troubled. The arrows mentioned in verse 17 are defined as lightning bolts by Strong’s Concordance. They lost their chariot wheels, so it became hard to drive them. In all the raging storm, the confused and shocked Egyptians recognized God’s displeasure. Finally, they said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel; because the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” They fled from God’s presence, the only safe place to be! They wanted God to depart from them, so they departed from Him! Isaiah 30:11-13 says, “Get out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” God respects our freedom of choice, and though it pains Him to watch His creatures run towards destruction, He never forces His presence anywhere He isn’t wanted. What happens when God has to give them up and step back? Isaiah 30:12, 13 continues: “Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel, ‘Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay on it, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly at an instant.” Could it be any clearer that their rejection of God would result in the full force of sin’s effects? He even illustrated it with distinct imagery of their iniquity swelling into walls, ready to crash down upon them in an instant!
 Exodus 14:26-31
God wanted their hearts to melt and for them to turn to Him for healing and salvation. Do you believe for one second that if even one of those Egyptians got down on his knees—right there in the midst of those high water walls—and gave his melted heart to Him in that moment, that God would’ve let him go to his watery grave a lost man? Didn’t Jesus accept the last-second conversion of the thief on the cross? But did their hearts soften? After the Egyptians turned back, God told Moses to stretch his rod out over the sea again, and the waters would come back down to their natural course—covering the Egyptians, their chariots, and their horses. He did this, and by the time morning had come, the sea was back to its place. The Egyptians tried to escape but didn’t make it and were overthrown by the sea. Not a single Egyptian (that hadn’t left with Israel) made it out alive, yet all of Israel walked on dry land and made it out of the sea. Israel saw the salvation of the Lord that day. They’d witnessed the biggest miracle of all, and afterwards, saw their dead enemies wash up on the shore. Their armor and war skills had no match against the ocean and its Creator. The Hebrews’ lack of armor and war skills didn’t diminish God’s protection. When they saw this, they respected and believed God and Moses. Psalm 118:5-7 says, “I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me? The Lord takes my part with them that help me: therefore I shall see my desire upon those that hate me.” There’s so much to unpack in this passage. First, when it says that God set them in a ‘large place’, Strong’s Concordance says that means ‘enlargement’—either literally (‘open space’—usually in a good sense) or figuratively (‘liberty’). Thus, they called on God in their distress (as we saw in devotional #61), He answered and took them from a tight spot (where they were trapped on all sides) to a large, open space—specifically, to their freedom. Second, it says (after saying God would be on their side) that they’d see their desire upon those that hate them. Recall, from Genesis devotional #24, that we learned about this concept of ‘desire’. Strong’s Concordance defines it as a longing (which’d easily be applicable here at the Red Sea scenario), but we talked about the other theorized meaning—a desire to control, while in an inferior position. If we apply that here, it could be that the Israelites would’ve longed to be free from the control—to overcome—the rule of the Egyptians—and they’d see that finally happen. In devotional #59, we mentioned that Israel left the country armed with weapons, but that they hadn’t brought them with the dough, troughs, or goods the night they departed. Where’d they get them then? Remember that there were over six hundred chariots carrying at least one Egyptian soldier each. When they were overthrown by the sea, their bodies washed up on the shore in sight of the Israelites—along with all they were wearing, including their weapons and armor. It’s highly likely that this was the source of their arms.