January 9, 2022

Exodus: Witness the Power of God

Speaker: David Jordan Series: Journey Through the Bible Scripture: Exodus 1:1– 40:38

Download the Exodus Bible Journal Outline

This is the journey through the Bible series. Exodus is entitled, “Witness the Power of God.” Guys, you can turn the audio down just a touch if you would. I don't want to sound like I'm speaking from Mount Sinai just yet. You'll get that joke in a little bit here. Last week, we talked about Genesis, we learned about God. In each and every book, we're going to learn more and more about God more about ourselves, more about his design for us. And who he is.

It's in my notes. Mike said it this morning. You can't worship a God you don't know. And so we have to know him, we have to understand who he is, as he has revealed himself. So God is Creator. He's created us in His image. And we quickly marred that image through sin, the willful plunge into sin. And yet even in his provision, he, he shed blood, and clothed them with garments of skin that is Adam and Eve after they sinned, and yet, the world was never the same, he's cursed the world, he cursed the work of the ground. Man and woman are not the same as they were before the fall.

But we learn through all of that, that God has made a way that he has provided a provision of righteousness, a way to commune with God. He had made a covenant with Noah. And he saw that the wickedness on Earth got so great that he basically just started over with eight people, and made a covenant with Noah and the sign of that was the rainbow that he would never destroy the whole earth again, with water.

Then, as we move through Genesis, you see his covenant promise with Abraham in Genesis 12 and it is repeated in Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. And there's land promise there too. Land which by the way, is not yet completely in the hands of the Israelites. They never completed the conquest, even after they got to the promised land, they got tired, they stopped doing wars. And so there is yet to be a fulfillment of land given to the people of Israel, that will happen one day.

But God makes this promise to Abraham that I will bless you, and I will help you multiply and fill the earth. And then that goes on to down from Abraham, to Isaac and, and to Jacob. And then Joseph gets in power in Egypt and, and we're left there wondering what's going to happen to these people.

Exodus comes on the scene. And in Exodus, we have just an amazing picture. As you can see there on your outline, your Bible outline journal of the themes that we see in there:

  •  that Yahweh is God, that's specific,
  • that God Delivers Israel,
  • that God's Power and Faithfulness are going to come through
  • and that God Guides and Provides.

And you can see the overviews there. And the way we're going to go through Exodus is basically chapters 1 through 12, where they go up through the Passover, and their exodus out of slavery in Egypt.

And then the next portion of the Book of Exodus, from 13 all the way through 40 is their journey in the wilderness and a large part of that is in two sections. On Mount Sinai, they get all the instructions for this holy tabernacle, and they start to learn more about God. But we must follow God carefully. We must follow him carefully.

After I got married (to be 23 years in February), we went on our honeymoon, and we went snorkeling. And there we were just jumped off the boat and start swimming around. And some of you may have heard the story before, but I was really excited because I heard that there was coral near the boat from where we were snorkeling. Let's just swim over there. So I started swimming that way and Ann’s following me. And I didn't know if we talked about it ahead of time, I don't think we did. And so I'm over there. I'm really excited. I'm seeing sea anemones. I'm seeing all kinds of little fish. Seeing this coral that sustains life and is actually itself alive and I’m just loving it, but the waters getting more and more shallow. And the waves are coming through. And we're getting kind of close to bumping into this coral, and these little red things with spikes sticking up. And you know, in nature, if you see red, it rhymes with dead and so you don't go near those things. And so I decided, well, I should probably see how Ann's doing some 20 minutes later.

Alight, gotta learn a lot. And wives and husbands need to be patient with each other. So she reminds me that yes, they did mention the coral. They said not to go by it. I look around, and we kind of stood up and the waters only, you know about knee deep. And, in fact, we were the only people around the coral. Everyone else was not around the coral, those little red spiky things can paralyze you. We quickly swam away from those things, and back to the boat. And that was the first, I guess, lesson for me and maybe Ann’s trust in God's faithfulness, that we wouldn't die if she followed me. But we have to pay attention to the rules. You can't just see something shiny and beautiful and magnificent and head towards it. And the people of Israel are going to learn that about God.

And I think you have learned that about God in your own lives that yes, he is majestic. he is holy, he is magnificent. His glory is the radiation of himself and his being his light to the world and to you and I and yet we have to pay attention to how he wants us to interact with him. And when we go about our lives, and just dismiss all the rules, we find ourselves, you know, saying red equals dead. We need to heed his warnings.

So, the question in Exodus, as the people have been in slavery for 430 years, is who is this God? Who is God? And if we if we don't get that right, then we're worshiping something not God, in our lives and following Him are going to fall apart at every turn.

So let me give you a few answers. Right, you're supposed to just kind of help everybody fish, not just hand them fishes, well, I want to hand you a few fish as we start here. Exodus shows us in Exodus 1 that God is faithful. If you read the opening of Exodus, which we can't really read a ton of it today. Otherwise, we'd only get through chapter two. And there's a bunch of chapters I want to do an overview for. You see, God is, he's keeping his covenant faithfulness with his people. Right? They are so numerous, that they made the most powerful nation on earth at the time, Egypt, scared of these untrained people. Right, God is fulfilling his promise to bless the nation of Israel. Right? And so we see that God is faithful.

Exodus 3, the burning bush, we see God as holy. We see God as specific in who he is. And see, Moses had to figure out who God was. That's really why he appeared to him in the bush, which didn't burn. He kind of got his attention, right? He showed him something shiny, and he came over and he's listening to God speak to him out of the bush. And God says, “I AM.” Well, what does that mean? Well, that means, “I'm the eternally existent one. I exist now, before, after. I am not created, tell them that I AM has sent you.” That's what he says in Exodus 3, tell them my name is Yahweh.

And yet, what have we done in translations? For the last 100 years, we've pretty much taken the name Yahweh out of most of the Bibles. Tell them specifically, I am Yahweh. And yet we have made it capital LORD, right? And there's reasons for that. There's a superstition that you would say it wrongly and so we don't want to say it wrongly. So we're just not going to say it at all. And that makes us prone to forgetting who God is specifically. So God tells them in Exodus 3, exactly who he is so that when he goes back to save the people, he can tell them, this is the God that we're talking about. God is the deliverer of his people. And Exodus 7 through Exodus 12. You can look there in the outline, and you can see what's going on in those chapters. Exodus 7 through Exodus 11 are the first nine plagues and then Exodus 12, he institutes this Passover.

And over and over again, God shows the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob, he shows them how compassionate he is. He shows them how powerful he is. I mean, did he really have to show up in a cloud? A pillar of cloud, it says, we always just picture the cloud over top. And we talked about how they didn't get sunburned or whatever. And like these people were in Egypt, they knew how to deal with the sun, they didn't need, you know, a constant umbrella. The idea was that he was leading them by day. Did he really needed to show up at night as a pillar of fire? Right, but God wanted them to know that it is I who lead you in all the nations shall know that there is no one like me. God guides his people in Exodus 13, then through the cloud and the fire, he demonstrates his power time and again in Exodus 14 with the Red Sea miracle, right?

Somebody will say, “Oh well, the Red Sea is really the Sea of Reeds. And it's so shallow that, you know, there's this wind that blows through there, and it kind of pushes the water aside.” Well, is that what the Bible said happened? As we read through this, we'll get to that part in a little bit. There are very specific details in there that show that understanding of the event could not line up with the Bible, at all. And if you study that, what are the possible locations of the Red Sea crossing, you're going to be amazed at how specific it is. You can even see documentaries from the History Channel, no less, right? The godless History Channel. And whenever they show something about God, it's always from a certain liberal perspective, but you'll see even wheels that are incrusted that the governments who govern that water won't let them take out of the sea, because it might show that the Egyptians were there. Fascinating.

God provides for them food in Exodus 16. We're hungry, right? We know that Israelites as the great complainers, right? But I will also show you how they were the great worshipers, too. So there's this frost on the ground. And it's like honey wafers, and it's all over the place, and then they're hungry for meat. So God sends them quail, and then they're thirsty. So, God provides for them out of the rock, which Paul then later says, is actually the Christ, who followed them. You can look up what the Jewish people think about the rock that followed them. There are great many stories about that. So God provides food for them. Right? But he doesn't just give them food so that they can eat. Where did the food come from? See, he's teaching them in every single story. And every single aspect of all these stories exactly who he is. He is the compassionate God. So he is going to feed well over two and a half to 3 million people, at conservative estimates, in the desert every day. That's a lot of food prep they're not doing, right?

They had numerous livestock with them all over the place. All right, there's plenty of animals everywhere. It's not like they ate them all, right? They knew how to farm and they knew how to cultivate and they knew how to shepherd their animals, and they had this with them, but yet they're hungry, right? What are we going to eat? Well, they were thinking about Egypt, not what they could get in the desert. So, God shows him that you come to me for your provision.

Let me just ask you as we get into this, do you know God? The word “holy” is used over 40 times in Exodus alone, mostly in describing the tabernacle and the elements of the tabernacle, what's going to go into it, including its design. He's very specific about all these things. Do you know this holy God? Does he at times terrify you? If not, you probably don't understand his power. Does he at times woo you with his love? If not, then you may not understand the full magnitude of perfect and complete forgiveness. God could take us and see us as the perfect righteousness of Christ, the God in flesh? How could he look upon you and me like that? We can barely make it through a few hours without sinning. Right? How could God do that? Because he is compassionate. And he will reveal himself to Moses in Exodus 34 and explain exactly who he is. So as we get into this, I just I want to ask you, do you want to know God, deeply, as he is in Scripture? If you do, you're going to love not only this book of Exodus, try and summarize for us. But you're going to love every page of Scripture. Because on it, we see the compassionate and majestic King of kings and Lord of lords.

Exodus, as a whole, covers really about two years. And the first couple chapters, we see Moses born, that sort of thing. And then he goes away. And he didn't have an easy life. We think he grew up in the castle, he had an easy life. But he didn't look like the others. He was a Hebrew it was obvious, right? So he's in the palace, where they put a death sentence out on the boys, and that's where he lives. Kind of like is anybody at any day going to figure this out? Moses was given everything he had the most power, the most wealth, had the most at his fingertips, whatever he wanted was there, right? But he lived under a potential death sentence. You can see that in Exodus 1:22 and following. And you know that Moses was supposed to be killed as all the Hebrew baby boys were, and he was saved by Pharaoh's daughter, nonetheless, after he was put in the river. Do you think she was the only mom who ever thought of that? I mean, think, wow, we're gonna save our son. There's the Nile. It goes for, you know, hundreds and hundreds of miles. And I wonder if we could just maybe send our kids down to another city or something. I don't know that she was the only one that ever thought of it. But I don't know that I would think about putting my child in a river. Don't worry, kids, that that would save them. Like, you're going to put pitch and tar on this basket, and just off they go. Well it was imminent death or possible death, that was their option.

So everyone was probably pretty stressed out to. I just want you to get a picture this. Sometimes we see this rosy picture of Moses, and wow, he probably spoke 10 languages and had servants all around. And yeah, he may have. But he was also prone to sin. And you see, he thought he was a deliverer from the beginning as he sees some countrymen fighting with an Egyptian, so he kills an Egyptian. Pharaoh hears about it. And so then, now he does want to kill Moses. So Moses has to go off into Midian. And he lives there for a while. But there's these people, the Israelites, whom God has this, this covenant promise with. They really have no leader, they've been in slavery for a very long time. Will God deliver them? Is God truly a deliver? You see, I think they're wrestling with that. Because how long do we get oppressed by the government before we want to break free? Right? About 30 minutes, right. 400 years, they were an incredibly patient people.

They probably built a lot of what you see, as the slaves under the power of Pharaoh. But see God had a plan. And his plan was to protect this baby. His plan was to deliver this man as he grew up, so he sent him away to Midian and he gets married. He gets married, by the way, because he's protecting foreigners. He's just a compassionate guy. The ladies go out to draw water and we learn it took them forever, because the sheep herders were not kind men, and they would afflict the ladies. And so one day, the ladies all come back quickly, and they're like, how'd you come back so quickly? Well, there was this guy who protected us and the dad with all these single women are like, well, where's the guy? We finally found one, why did you leave him? Right? Go get him. Bring him back. Right?

And so marriage, it kind of works like that. It's like, oh, yeah, that was a great one. Why did I let that one go? Right? But God needed to choose Moses. God needed to choose him, specifically. But to do that, to be an effective leader, Moses needed to know God. God could have delivered the people. That's not a problem for him. It didn't specifically need Moses and to choose him to go and deliver the people. He could have done that on his own, right? He delivered Noah's family from the whole world. I mean, he’s got means to do this. He’s got the power, the intellect, the will, the desire to protect his holiness. Listen, look in Exodus 3 with me if you would.

Exodus 3:16-17 says, this is God speaking through Moses here to the elders of Israel, “I have seen what's been done to you in Egypt, I will bring you out to a land flowing with milk and honey.” You know, when you go to the grocery store at like, 5pm, and you're starving, and you buy everything you can afford, because you're hungry and like, oh, yeah, eat that. And you had this giant meal. These people were oppressed, they were told what to eat. They had very specific rules and regulations on them. And God is promising them something that is pleasant. Something that is good. He's not just saying, Hey, I'm gonna relocate you. Right? He could have done that. Let's just, you know, like when Philip is evangelizing the New Testament, and God miraculously takes him from one place to another, he could have just taken all them they could have vanished and appeared in the Promised Land, right? Game over. Why do we have all of this? I mean, he could have just done that.

He wants everyone to know God, and he works through people. He wants you and I to be the ones to tell the world about him. But he wants us to know him first. Spurgeon said, “the world is on fire, yet we are too comfortable and too warm in our beds to get up and do anything about it.” He was speaking of the downgrade of the church at the time, where the church was just falling apart. Have we ever seen that in our day, the church is falling apart.

And yet God says I want you to be my people, this guy is going to lead you. And so now I'm going to send Moses to you and Moses, go speak to the leaders, right? He was very respectful and how he communicated this even to the Israelites. So they were enslaved at that point in the story for 429 years and counting. So God sends Moses to Pharaoh. Wait a minute, I've got a double death sentence on me. I'm a Hebrew boy, born illegally, and I killed a guy and Pharaoh specifically wanted to kill me. Right? So the history of leadership in Egypt had not been favorable to Moses. So Moses had to overcome his own fears in order to follow God.

Do you ever have to do that? God, I think this is your plan. I think this is what you want me to do. But can we discover the details again? Because it sounds like you want me to put myself in harm's way? Yep. Can we talk about the milk and honey part a little bit more, please? And a little bit less about the guy who wants to slaughter me, right? God is faithful. Moses doubted God. I can't even speak and you are you sure you want me? Well, your brother can speak well. Well, yeah, thanks for pointing that out. Well, he's gonna go with you. Right? Look at Exodus 4:11, and God answers his fears, he says this, he says, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” Is it not I, Yahweh? I do this.

That's a hard truth for you and I, right? That's a very hard truth for us to understand and to comprehend. How could God have glory through someone who is mute or deaf? And we see stories of that in the New Testament. How could God have glory over? Wait a minute, someone who can't speak well? Someone who can't talk well? Every pastor that's got that in mind, right? I'm not really that good at this Lord. Are you sure? And then they doubt their calling their whole life and yet it's like, it's not based on you. It's based on me. I made you. I can speak through you. I'm that powerful. Right?

So, Moses had to wrestle with the fact that even he couldn't speak very well. I made your mouth Moses. We've got this covered. We accept the good from God but often not the bad, friends. Yet God is the one who says he makes them all. Specifically, not randomly. Not just selective evolutionary-wise. Specifically. There's your purpose in life you've been created with a purpose to bring God glory. Do you agree that good can come out of bad? Friends, we have to not overlook this. We have to not overlook this. Because we see bad and we're like, “Oh, where's God?” Well, look at the bad a little more closely and we'll see God.

Was it fair that Jesus went to the cross? Was it fair, when he was standing there before Pilot and Pilot’s like I could release you? Jesus, is like, I can handle that on my own. If I wanted to be released, I would have ten legions of angels come and take care of you. And Pilot’s so freaked out about it and his wife's having nightmares at night. And she's like, get rid of this guy. He tries to release him. But the people say, “give us Barabbas not Jesus.” Was that fair? Of course, it wasn't fair. But it was just. And yes, those two things are normally opposite.

But God made a provision through Jesus Christ, to punish and penalize and torture, the most perfect, kind, humble man ever, fully divine, for your benefit. You see, when the unjust things happen to others, and we get the benefit of it, we can reconcile that in our mind. But when we don't know the ultimate end for things, we start to question. Why does this happen? Why is this going on? God, where are you? From Genesis we learned, God brings good things out of bad things. Right? Joseph’s brothers meant evil, but God meant it for good {Genesis 50:20]. And God was directing them the whole way.

So God, by his own will sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message they couldn't ignore. In fact, ten of them, right? Look on the cover of your [Bible journal handout] and the artist is, my friend Miguel in Downey, California. My dad used to live in Downey at one point. He's drawing these things for us so that we can see what is going on. You've got the blessings, you've got Pharaoh, you've got some of the plagues. You've got this burning bush, you've got the red sea miracle and the tablets there. The golden calf. In the bottom right, you've got the tabernacle and God's glory.

So Moses is now 80 years old. Okay. That's the start of his ministry. So don't come tell me you're too old to do ministry. Okay, that won't work. And his brother Aaron was 83. Okay, so they're sent to speak to Pharaoh in Exodus 7. And then they turn the River Nile to blood and all the fish die. Then they send frogs everywhere. And they send gnats. Then flies. The most despicable thing on earth, flies, flies on everything. If you ever watched the Animal Planet, I think they all are still there. Right?

Egyptian livestock die, that's plague five in Exodus 9. Then boils, time to get personal. Okay, yeah, we can deal with it. As long as you don't affect me what, physically, boils? Then the boils are gone. And each time Moses is, you know, praying for them and Pharaoh saying, and when you remove this, please bless me also, notice that Pharaoh does that he's such a self-consumed guy. Plague seven thunder, hail and fire. rain down from the sky. I mean how difficult and hardheaded must the Egyptians have been? Then locusts, and then darkness.

You know what I find most fascinating about all of these plagues, (and yes, we just summarized a bunch of chapters) is that none of them affected the Hebrews? None of them. The gnats and the flies. You know, can you imagine if you're a Hebrew visiting the Egyptians that day and everybody's got flies and you're walking down the street and not a single fly on you. Or, you know, maybe you have a friend who's an Egyptian and they come over to play that day and like, hey, there's no frogs at your house. And word gets out. Let's go play it, at you know, his house. You all know that you've got the houses you'd like to play at and be at. But God did not send them among the people of Israel in Goshen. See, the Egyptians thought they were doing well, they thought that the people [i.e. Israelites] were despicable. They thought that the people were filthy and dirty. So they made them live in another place, and God what he used that to affect them, to affect them.

When the livestock died, it was the Egyptian livestock. When the people had boils, it was the Egyptians who had boils. When the darkness came, three days of solid darkness where you can't see your hand in front of your face that didn't have screens glowing or anything. There was light among the Israelites. God created what in Genesis? The light and the darkness and he separated the light from the dark. And you're like, how does this happen? How does this come about? Well, they got another demonstration of how God separated the light from the darkness. It's amazing. It's a miracle. It's God at work, defying the laws he himself has said about, you know, light goes on forever. It doesn't diminish or fade, it just spreads apart. That's why light over time seems more dim, but light rays carry on you know this, you see the sun 90 million miles away, the closest star we have, right? And galaxies and galaxies further out, light keeps going.

So did the light from Goshen not go towards Egypt at that time? No, it didn't. They couldn't see their hand in front of their face. God was physically, purposefully continually changing the laws that he himself has established, not the laws of nature, but the laws of God. Right? So that they would know these are my people and they are set apart. Are you set apart for God's work? Are you different? Can everyone see that you're different? Not just because, you know, we have some peculiarities about us. But can they see that you're different? Can they tell that you live your life because you love Jesus Christ?

God was making it clear. Serve me and me alone. Exodus 12 is where a big change happens. They've gone through the nine plagues. They've had darkness, the light returns. And God tells Moses, I'm going to institute the Passover. It's time to get you guys out. And this is where he's going to ask them to put the blood on the lintel, the posts above the two side pieces of the door, and he is going to pass over any house that has the blood above the door. And any house that doesn't will have death.
Does God take his holiness seriously? You can't think of the Passover and not understand that God takes his holiness seriously. He says in Exodus 12:12, we're going to be jumping all over the place, Exodus 12:12, “For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.”
We must know how to rightly worship him. Skip down to verse 27. Exodus 12:27, “you shall say, [when people ask you about it] ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’ And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.”
Worship is the goal. Pure, unadulterated worship of God. That's the goal. That's what God is trying to bring about. Do you know me enough to worship me rightly? If you didn't put the blood. Oh, I forgot. Guess what? He didn't pause and give you time to do that. They were all listening very carefully at that point. God means what he says he means. You and I don't get to rewrite Scripture. We don't get to rewrite our relationship with God just because we think it's more convenient or better. Right? It doesn't work like that. And church after church is figuring that out right now. They're figuring it out. God said, assemble together. Well, what if we don't want to? Well, then you're breaking my Word. If you can physically come together, come together. If you can physically be here, be here. Extenuating circumstances are just that, they don't last forever. Some churches are still not open. That's sad. But you want to be here. Why? Because you want to know God.
That night in Egypt, Exodus 12:30-31. Here's what happened. “And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, ‘Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said.’” Pharaoh knew his name. “As you have said, [Exodus 12:32] Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

Do you see that they're in verse 32? Exodus 12:32, “and bless me also” are the final words, you've got a bath coming, but it's not the kind that you're thinking of Pharaoh. It's a Red Sea bath. Alright?

So now you have millions of Israelites going, where do you get that number? Looking at Exodus 12:37. If you haven't figured out Exodus 12. Exodus 12 is very key. Know that chapter well, Exodus 12:37 describes 600,000 men on foot besides women and children. If they had big families, that's a lot of people. Right? So two and a half million is not an exaggeration. If they all had big families, you're talking about over 10 million people. It had to be enough to scare Pharaoh who had a massive army. A bunch of people, right?

So, 430 years they live there. That's Exodus 12:40. So the first 12 chapters, they were in Egypt, they continue to multiply like thriving ants. God was fulfilling the Abrahamic promise to bless them and multiply them, but also to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, that's in the future. That's what they were headed towards.

Exodus 13 starts their journey towards the promised land. And we're going to have to speed up a little bit, as you can tell, right? There's this transition to the wilderness. It's not just that the exit was dramatic, right? They plundered the Egyptians on the way out. So they're like, you know, lugging bags of gold and clothes, and you know, all that fine stuff that we're still finding in pyramids, they're lugging a lot of that with them. And so they're going into the desert well equipped.

But have you ever wondered why God led them to the wilderness? Exodus 13:17 explains that, which says he didn't want them to go by the way of the Philistines and have war, right immediate war, they would have war later. So, God out of his graciousness led them to the Red Sea.

Now, listen here, the Red Sea, you can look this up, where they probably crossed. There's only a few banks of sand large enough to hold all of these people. Right, and it tells us where their location is approximately. So if you can picture in your mind, you're coming through, and you're heading to this area that has mountains, there's a big pass between these mountains, and then this gigantic, sandy area. And I've studied this before, and you can see this on Google Maps, looking it up and the people are they're like, Okay, you got the sea over here, you got mountains over here, and Pharaoh's army is coming. Let me ask you a question, how much does God have to do in order for us to trust him?

Miracles, did miracles convince the Israelites that God would take care of their every need? No. We just saw ten incredible, never before seen miracles, that did nothing to make them trust God in their everyday lives. It did make them leave. Right? They enjoyed that part of it.

So Exodus 14:13-14 says this, “…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. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

And I think it was the last time they were ever silent. As you know, they grumbled a lot. Right? So God, as I'm summarizing this, God in Exodus 14, leads them through the Red Sea, on dry land. On dry land, probably not the kind of picture you have in mind. But maybe it is. You see, it says that “the waters were being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left,” Exodus 14:22. So all those children's book pictures with those giant walls coming in. And only it looks like you know, maybe three or four people can fit through at a time. There's millions of people that crossed over this area, in one evening, one night. So however wide that had to be, it was pretty wide.

But there were walls of water on both sides. God didn't want to wipe out the people below there. So the wall didn't flood crashing down like a tsunami. And he didn't want it to back up and kill everyone it did back up, it says even how far, but there's walls of water going through. Do you think the kids ever forgot that? Well, the parents forgot it about three days after. Moses learned much about God.

Look at Exodus 15. Exodus 15 is Moses telling us exactly what he's learned about God so far. It's a great summary. Exodus 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”

[He describes] God in Exodus 15:3 as “a man of war,” and Exodus 15:6, as “glorious in power” and “shatters” his enemies. Exodus 15:7, he displays great majesty, and 15:11 is unique, majestic and holy, “awesome in glorious deeds,” working wonders. In Exodus 15:13, God leads with “steadfast love” and in Exodus 15:18, “The LORD will reign forever and ever.”

What is the purpose of all this? That the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh. When no one from the army returned, the Egyptian culture and people were never the same again. Right? Did they ever pursue them in war? We don't see that. You say this is harsh. You just consumed the entire army of Pharaoh and… that’s pretty harsh. No, they made their decision that they would not follow God. So God in his justice brought justice upon them. But he gave the Egyptian people another chance to know him. The army continually fought against him. But in his compassion, he still gave the Israelites another chance. He only gives so many. So they travel on out into the wilderness. And in Exodus 18, he's got a reunion. He's been away from his family. So Exodus 18 is Moses’s family reunion with his father who came from Midian and talked to him and helped teach him how to lead even better.

Then you have Mount Sinai, Exodus 19 to Exodus 24. God gives them the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and they learn about God. That's Exodus 20, are the 10 commandments. That's the first set of Ten Commandments. By the way, later it says written on the front and the back, sorry, all the times and you see the Ten Commandments it’s probably not writing on the front and back and they were probably copies of each other.

Hebraic law normally made copies so that you would know what was written, and so could have been a copy 10 on one and 10 on the other. But they were written with the finger of God. It says as if written with the finger of God. Exodus 20:11, is very formative as well, talking about the Sabbath, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” It's another confirmation to me of a six-day literal creation, resting on the Sabbath.

And then every building project’s favorite passage in Scripture is Exodus 25, let all whose heart move him give towards making of the tabernacle. Right? Let's take a big offering, we just saved you, we've just brought you through, we know you're dragging hordes of gold from Egypt, that you did nothing to attain. So let's take an offering, right? And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell in their midst. Was it an offering that they were obligated to give? No. Right? God did not do that. He showed himself to them. And he said, “Let's make a tabernacle so I can dwell with you.” His goal was to dwell with them to live with him to be with them. He led them purposefully by the day, he led them purposefully at night.

So instructions for the tabernacle are given in Exodus 26, all the way through Exodus 35. It speaks of the design. It speaks of how holy things are. Even the garments that the priests wore, were to be holy. It was clear then that there was a right way to worship God and a wrong way to worship God. And what they made, it had to be specific. And God even gave people skills. We talked this morning in Grace Equip, Mike did, about how God equips the saints for work of the ministry, right? Ephesians 4:11-16, that everyone has a spiritual gift that is given to them. Well, God gave some people incredible gifts of craftsmanship, of design, of skill in embroidery work and working with jewelry and gold. And he didn't give that to everybody. Right? But he gave that to some and those people helped build what is an amazing tabernacle.

Mount Sinai is very interesting. And I'm going to try and sum up here, almost the rest of Exodus in just a little bit, in about five more minutes. Exodus 24:16-18. God wants to tell Moses, more about himself. “The glory of the LORD,” in Exodus 24:16, “dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days.” We just got done talking about a number of days, so was that hundreds of millions of years, or just six? Six days, “and on the seventh day, he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” [Exodus 24:17] “Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”

Okay. So this morning, I was sitting in here and the sun's rising, and I can see out the window, this beautiful sunrise, maybe you guys saw it this morning. And as it continues to rise, the clouds, the bottom of the clouds all sparkle with orange on the bottom, right? It's just, it's glowing. Everything is glowing orange out there. It's on the cars. It's on the sidewalk. It's on the side of the building, right? Light just goes on and on. You can't escape the glow. If you can see it. Notice that the devouring fire in Exodus 24:17, was in the sight of the people of Israel. They could see it!

You're like, that's fascinating. Why are you telling me that? Well, here's why. Okay, here's why. They said we don't know what's become of Moses. We don't know what he's doing up there. Nobody told us he's gonna be up there forty days and forty nights. What if he's gone forever? Paraphrasing, right. Where is this guy who's led us? Maybe he's deserted us? Maybe he's gone back to Egypt. Right? Where is he? We need a new leader and we need a new god. So they went and they found themselves a leader. And they found themselves giving this person gold. And then he starts to rationalize. Aaron says tomorrow we're going to have a feast unto the LORD. Here's what his feast looks like: rising up to play, (right?) drinking and eating, you see that in the Scripture specifically. And then we're going to take all of your gold earrings and stuff. And we're going to form for ourselves a golden calf. This is your God.

God just killed all the livestock of the Egyptians to send a message about worshiping things like that. And now they're going to fashion a golden calf and worship it as though it was Yahweh himself. He's kind of make excuses for himself too. And by the way, this is a real event, it really happened. This is real fire. You can look up Mount Jabal Maqla. You can look that up, don't look it up now. You can look it up later. The top of that mountain is black, it's charred. The inside of all the rocks that are black, are normal color like the rest of the mountain, but the top of it is black, it's still black to this day. They think that may be the actual Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is in a mountain range. There's lots of peaks that it could have been on. And of course, you know, Catholics have said it's this one, and you can pay some money to go on a tour of it. Right, but it truly happened. And they could see all this happening.

But we rationalize things in life quickly, don’t we? But it's just blatant sin. Other people may rationalize their behavior by finding someone who is worse than him. There's always someone worse, right? We only obey part of the word, unwilling to obey all of it. I don't like that part. I'm not going to listen to that part. While others like the Israelites here, replace God with something they like better. What do you like better than a God who's more powerful and more loving than anyone else on the planet?

Well God told Moses, “hey, you better go down because they're worshipping foreign gods here now.” So he sends him back. And Aaron is kind of taken aback. He starts making excuses. Look in Exodus 32:22 and following. It's one of the most ridiculous things recorded in all of Scripture, in my mind. And Aaron said, as he's talking to Moses, who was just on the mountain with God,

[Exodus 32:22-24] “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

I collected your gold and threw it in the fire and out popped a calf. Praise God. Right? Is that not the most ridiculous thing? You can see God's glory on top of the mountain. It's not the calf. He's right there. We justify our lives in our choices before God and others, in light of the clear evidence of God. Moses was getting instruction on Mount Sinai about the holy tabernacle. During those forty days, the garments have to be holy. The people are getting drunk and having a party. Moses is up there getting instructions from God on this holy tabernacle. Don't touch the mountain or you're gonna die don't let the livestock touch the mountain or they're gonna die. Well we're gonna take our own livestock and worship that thing, right?

Does God take his holiness seriously? Three thousand men were executed that day by Levites. Then God sent another plague on them after that. This was a turning point in their history. We're in Exodus 33. He says, I will not go up with you as before. You have pushed me too far. I will not go up with you lest I consume you on the way. He's still going to show them the way but he is not going to dwell with them to be among them like he was before.

And you saw that when they get to the Promised Land, where did the pillar of fire and cloud go? God describes himself in amazing ways in Exodus 34 when Moses on the mountain says even more, show me your glory, I'm like, well, the mountains on fire, what more do you want to see? Right? Like, do you not know enough about God? So Exodus 34:6-7, you should know Exodus 34:12 and 34. Actually look at Exodus 19, as well, because that's where God gives the promise on Mount Sinai to Moses.

And here in Exodus 34:6-7, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

That doesn't mean that they are guilty of their father's sin. The Bible never teaches that. The Bible does teach that there are logical repercussions for the sins of your parents. If your parents are into paganism then you're gonna have to grow up watching that, you know, through your childhood, that's a sin of your parents, if you follow in them, now you're following the iniquity of your parents and it's generational.

He is merciful and gracious and abounding in love. Is this the God that you know? Is this the God that you know? Well, at the end of Exodus, the people repent, so to speak, although if you read Psalm 78, which is an incredibly detailed account of the Exodus and of the wilderness wanderings, I suggest you read that at some point soon. Psalm 78. It's a wonderful description of what happened. And it also gives insight into their hearts, that even when they gave tons of money for the sanctuary, that their hearts were really not in it, they were just moved from guilt.

So what do we do with all this? 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Describe a very familiar passage. And I want you to read through 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 sometime this week. Because you know 1 Corinthians 10:13, very well, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

The context of that is Exodus. Imagine the magnitude that they faced, the stress of billions of gnats on your neighbors, the stress of all of their livestock dying, which means they're going to want your livestock, the stress of leaving, while every single house had a dead person in it, and you're going into that house, asking for their clothes. But no temptation has overcome you, you do not have to succumb to the temptations to sin, to overly trust in your anxious thoughts, to doubt God, to lack trust in God that as if he hasn't shown himself. And he's given us all these things in Exodus, just so you and I can live the day to day he's written them down for our instruction. Do you know the Word? Do you know God?

It is the secret of the Christian life, it is to truly know God. Because in him we're taken care of, in him the world moves in and you and I have our being.

I just want to challenge you today, to set not your heart on the pleasures of this world. But on God who saves.

Let's pray.

Father God, I thank you for just this amazing book. The end of which Lord, you hear the tabernacle is finished and your glory descends on the tabernacle and it's, it's not consumed with fire and there you are Lord having a proper dwelling place to meet with the people. Lord, you have given us Jesus Christ, who cleanses us from all sin. And you have called us the temple, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of God, Lord. I pray that you'd help us to seek you, above all things. That we not be overcome by the world, that we not be consumed by pursuing the things of this world but by pursuing you.

Friends, just take a moment right now and ask God to help you pursue him above all things.

Father, do a mighty work in our lives. Help us Lord God to live for you. And to love and pursue you and you alone. In your precious Holy Name, Amen.