Exodus 14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
Intro: As we gather together for the last service of 2020, let’s turn our hearts to going forward. God is pleased when His people go forward.
- Going forward should be the desire of every Christian.
- Going forward should be the desire of every church.
- Going forward should be the desire of every parent.
- Going forward should be the desire of every teenager.
Notice His warnings about this very thing – SEE Jeremiah 7
- 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
- 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels [and] in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Going forward is a phrase that is found multiple times in the Bible.
We have a number of biblical examples of those that went forward.
Isaac went forward in his PROSPERITY – Genesis 26
- 12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
- 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
- 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
The nation of Israel went forward in their PLACEMENT
- Numbers 2:17 Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.
David went forward in POWER
- 1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
Israel went forward in their PURSUIT – II Kings 3
- 24 And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.
- 25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.
Ezra led the people to go forward in their PRODUCTIVITY – Ezra 3
- 8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
- 9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
Jesus went forward in his PRAYING – Mark 14
- 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
- 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
In our text tonight, God clearly commanded the people to GO FORWARD. (Exodus 14:15)
It wasn’t a suggestion; it wasn’t a gentle reminder of His will; it wasn’t an option.
They were commanded by God to go forward.
Several things in this story stands out that I believe will help us going into 2021.
I. Their Dire Situation
A. The Obstacles were Significant – vs. 2 – Mountains/sea – not moveable
B. The Opposition was Stubborn – vs. 3-5
C. The Opportunities were Shrinking – nowhere to go. (shut in – vs. 3)
II. Their Desperate State
If you’re wondering if the “timing is right” to go forward, read this story.
A. They were Overtaken – vs. 9
B. They were Overwhelmed – vs. 10
C. They were Overreacting – vs. 11, 12
BUT!! With God’s help, the enemy was Overthrown – vs. 27
III. Their Divine Support
With God’s help, they were able to go forward.
But they didn’t do it by themselves.
They were able to go forward because of:
A. The Wind – vs. 21
NOTE: The early church were strictly forbidden from going forward until the wind blew!
- Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
However, in verse 21, the wind blew during a time of DARKNESS, DRYNESS AND DIVISION.
- 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.
God appointed the DARKNESS, DRYNESS AND DIVISION as the perfect time for them to GO FORWARD.
B. The Walls – vs. 22
- 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.
If it wasn’t for those walls, they would have DROWNED, been DESTROYED.
In verse 16, and verse 21, God took what they were afraid of, and DIVIDED IT.
God made what was supposed to destroy them be what actually protected them.
C. The Work – vs. 31
- Exodus 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.
God did in one night what He had deliberately chosen NOT to do during the 10 plagues of Egypt.
Just as God predicted in verse 4 and verse 18, the Egyptians knew it was God. (vs. 25)
And just as He predicted in verse 4, 17 and 18, the Israelites honored God. (vs. 31)