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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 401-450 (The Death - Three)

F.E. Marsh :: 426. The Passage of the Red Sea

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EXODUS 14:19-29

WE have a striking illustration in the children of Israel at the Red Sea, of what it means for the Lord to be for us or to be against us.

Israel was for God in obeying His word in relation to the Pascal lamb and Passover feast, hence the Lord is for them in protecting them in the moment of their peril. If we side with God, God is on our side.

  1. The Lord for us means that He is between us and every foe. The “angel of God” removed from the front of the camp to the rear, and thus was between Israel and the Egyptians (Exo. 14:19). “A tradition current in the West of Scotland, tells that when one of the Covenanting preachers and his little band of hearers had been suprised on a hillside by the military, the minister cried out, ‘Lord, throw Thy mantle over us and protect us.’ And immediately out of the clear sky there fell a mist, which sundered and protected the pursued from the pursuers. And a Netherland tradition tells how a little army of Protestants were once saved from the King of Spain’s troops by the flashing lights and noise as of an army sent by the Lord to throw confusion into the camp of the enemy. Some will remember the story of the Christian woman who, calmly awaiting in her home the approach of the enemy, was, in answer to her prayer, saved from them by a circling wall of snow. The dividing pillar is a reality yet.”
    When the Lord is between us and the foe, or any danger, they must touch Him before they can touch us, for “the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them”(Psalm 34:7).
  2. The Lord for us means that we have light. The pillar of cloud gave light to Israel at night (Exo. 14:20). As when Israel was in Goshen there was light in their dwellings when there was darkness over the land of Egypt for three days, so that the Egyptians did not rise from their places, nor saw each other; so there is light from the pillar of cloud for Israel’s comfort and guidance when before the Red Sea. Those who are not the Lord’s are in darkness (Isaiah 60:2), but those who are the Lord’s are called out of darkness into light, that is, from a state of sin, ignorance, and unbelief, into a state of knowledge, faith, and holiness (1 Peter 2:9), and are also said to be “light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8).
  3. The Lord for us means that we have an opening through a seemingly impassable sea of difficulties. There was no prospect, humanly speaking, for Israel to escape from the Egyptians. The mountains on either side of them, the enemy in the rear, and the sea in front, but the Lord “maketh a way in the sea” (Isaiah 43:16). The Lord bids His children to “go forward” into the sea of difficulty counting upon His guidance, into the sea of sorrow receiving His comfort, into the sea of trial leaning on His strength, into the sea of life trusting in Himself, into the sea of the world abiding in His presence, into the sea of conflict armed in His armour, and into the sea of labour looking to Him to supply all the need.
  4. The Lord for us means deliverance from the enemy. How repeatedly we find the Lord to the front in the verses before us.
    Presence-“The angel of God” (Exo. 14:19).
    Power-“The Lord caused” (Exo. 14:21).
    Penetration-“The Lord looked” (Exo. 14:24).
    Protection-“The Lord fighteth” (Exo. 14:25).
    Direction-“The Lord said” (Exo. 14:26).
    Punishment-“The Lord overthrew” (Exo. 14:27).
    There can be no defeat when God is warring. When any one opposes God, it is like the birds ’who dash against the lighthouse window as they are attracted by the light, but they do it to their own dismay and destruction.
    In contrast to all that God was for Israel, and did for them, we behold in His action towards Egypt what it means for God to be against any one. It means the very antithesis of God for us. Hebrews 11:29 gives us the reason why God was for the one and not for the other as viewed from the human standpoint. The one had faith, the other had not.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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