Speaker: Rev. Dr. Mark Crumpler
Date: April 30, 2017
Text: Rescued: The Life of Moses
RESCUED: THE LIFE OF MOSES
TEXT: Exodus 14:5-18
Sermon date: April 30, 2017
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, "What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!"
6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him.
7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.
8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.
9 The Egyptians-all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horsemen and troops-pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"
13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen."
 The Holy Bible: New International Version.
(1984). (Ex 14:5-18). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to help and to speak in the moments you have together; ask that we would all have hears to hear what the Spirit might say through the scripture. Pray the words of Psalm 119:17 - "Open our eyes that we might see wonderful things in your Law."
Have one or two in the group read the text aloud, encouraging all to read silently and listen prayerfully. After the reading offer a moment of general response asking (1) What details of the story resonate with you or stand out to you? (2) What questions does the story raise in your mind?
FOR REFLECTIONS AND DISCUSSIONS:
1. Read Exodus 13:17-18 as well as Exodus 14:3. What do these verses suggest to you about the way God guides his people (us!).
2. Look at Exodus 14:4, 17, 18. How does God's act of "rescue" serve to gain glory for God?
3. In Ex. 14:101-12 we see the initial reaction of the people to the threat that confronts them. How would you describe this reaction, and do you see anything familiar in their words or behaviors?
4. Look closely at 14:14-15. On the surface, these sound like two different messages to the people. What is Moses saying to the people? What is God saying to the people?
5. Eugene Peterson calls the Red Sea a "dead end" that followed a period of euphoria (having been set free from slavery). How do we experience "Red Sea" moments in our lives?
6. How will you seek to "be still" and allow God to do his saving work in your own Red Sea moment?
7. How will you "move forward" and respond to God in faith and trust as you face the seemingly "dead end" places of your own life?
Saving God, you show up in ways we never could have imagined in places where we never wanted to be--and you do what we never expected. Do so even this day, and help us both to be still and to step out as we trust you with our lives, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.