James Merritt - When Your Back is Against the Wall
40 Years later, the Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness, trying to get to the promised land, and there are two men named Joshua and Caleb, go into a town called Jericho, and they met a prostitute, a pagan, somebody didn't even know God, they met this prostitute, her name was Rahab, this is what she told them. "Oh, we've heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea". Now, I don't know how they knew that, they didn't have TV, they didn't have YouTube, they didn't have news back in that day. But that event was so famous word got out everywhere, and it even got through the wilderness, and here's an prostitute says, "oh yeah, we know who you are, we heard 40 years ago, we heard about this parting of the Red Sea".
There was this buzz in the ancient world. All of which is to say this event in the life of Moses has given rise to the series that we're in, we're calling it "Red Sea Moments". One of the things you learn in life as you get older, is this, if you live long enough, you will have Red Sea moments. Now I don't mean you're gonna be parting the waters in your neighborhood swimming pool, that's not what I'm talking about, but here's what I mean, all of us are going to encounter situations where it looks like there's no way out, there's no way up, and everything's gonna lead to failure and defeat. Matter of fact, we've got phrases we used to describe situations like that, "We're up the Creek without a paddle", "we are between a rock and a hard place", or "when your back is against the wall", you know where you get that phrase?
That phrase comes from people who face the firing squad, when your back is against the wall, and you've got seven rifles in front of you, to say the least you are in intense situation, and there's no way of escape. We call that "Red Sea moments". And if you brought a copy of God's word today, I want you to look in a book called Exodus, it's the second book in the Bible. We're in Exodus chapter 14, and we're gonna be studying the most celebrated event in Jewish history. I've already told you two movies have been made. Two words is all you need to know for most of you, I could have just gotten up and said two words, the Exodus, and you say, oh yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about, and you know, in case you are not familiar with it, there's a man named Moses, and so Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
They've been on the run, they're fleeing their Egyptian slavers, and so Moses is standing at the Red Sea. He's got the Red Sea in front, got the Egyptian army in the back, and quite frankly, if you had been Moses, you probably would've been saying to all these people out there, "get your affairs in order, we're not gonna live very long, I've led you as far as I can lead you, and I'll just be honest, there is no way out".
Now, most of you though, you know the ending, God parts the sea, the children of Israel pass through, he closes the waters back on the army, and everybody's drowned and God saves the day, you say, yeah doc, that's a great story, love that story. Teach that story to your kids, teach that story to your grandkids. But then maybe one day you'll be teaching it to that little eight year old grandchild, and he may say something like this, "pop, that's a great story, but what has it got to do with me? What has it got to do with you? And you may be asking yourself this question right now, man, I came to church, man, I need this, I need that, and we're gonna talk about a story I heard when I was a kid, what does it have to do with me"? Just this, we all face Red Sea moments where we're boxed in, it seems like there's no way out.
As a matter of fact, I guarantee you in every section of this room, by the people watching me right now, there are some of you going, you know what? I'm in my Red Sea moment. For example, you've come to the end of the money before you came to the end of the month, you're in a Red Sea moment. You lost your job during COVID, and you've applied for six jobs in six months, and you've not gotten job yet, and you're in a Red Sea moment. Or you came here and you put on your happy face, and you're putting on an academy award-winning performance with your spouse but neither one of you think your marriage is going to make it. You're in a Red Sea moment. You went to the doctor last week, thought it was a routine checkup. They checked your blood work, and the doctor called back and said, "you're in big trouble", you're in a Red Sea moment.
We all have those times that come to us, and we don't even look for them. But the good news is the same God that came through for Moses, and the same God that came through for the nation of Israel is alive and well, and that same God wants to come through for you. So the question is, if you're one of those people right now, and you're saying, man, am I glad I came, am I in a Red Sea moment in my life right now, what do you do? You might wanna write down these three things. Number one, you trust God wherever he leads, you trust God wherever he leads. Now the first thing that a lot of people don't ask, but I would ask if I were not a believer, here's what I'd be asking about this whole story. How did they get in the mess to begin with? How did they even get in this situation to begin with? Well, you don't have to look long to learn.
Here's what we read in Exodus 14. "Then the Lord said to Moses, tell the Israelites to turn back, and encamp near Pi Hahiroth between Migdol and the sea, they are to encamp by the sea directly opposite Baal Zephon". You don't need to worry about all those places, just need to know this one little thing. Israel felt like they were caught in a trap because they were, they were caught in a trap. They were literally in a geographical dead end. Here's what was going on, to the north there were these huge Egyptian fortresses, couldn't go that way, to the south, Egyptian desert, couldn't go that way, to the west, Pharaoh's army, can't go that way, to the east, there's the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez we would call today, they couldn't go that way.
You have to understand the Israelites, we'll go back and do a little history here. Remember they'd been living in slavery for 400 years in Egypt. All they had known all their life was Egypt, Egypt, Egypt, culturally, they were not Hebrew, culturally, they were Egyptian. They didn't think like Hebrews, they thought like Egyptians, and the problem was in that 400 year period, they had totally forgotten God. They had totally forgotten what God could do. They had totally forgotten all the miracles that God had worked. But the good news is, even though they had forgotten God, God had not forgotten them. And this was no accident where they were was no accident, 'cause we read this. "So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea".
Now why does Moses put that there? Moses wrote this book, he's writing back about what happened. So wait a minute, God led the people where they were. Yeah, because Israel needed to learn in a lesson, so you may need to learn. There are times in life that we get into these bad situations, and we think, man, I messed up, I miscalculated, this is all my fault, I mean, or maybe this is God's punishment on me, and what you don't realize, it may be you're in a Red Sea moment because that's where God led you. It may be that God directed you. It may be God put you in that Red Sea moment. Because after they left Egypt, they traveled down the Sinai Peninsula, which they should have but they did this, instead of turning east, and getting away from the Egyptian army, they turned west right into this cul-de-sac.
Now, if you're a military man you would say, "that is one of the most lethal, stupid, dumb military blunders in all of history". How could you get lost? I mean, Moses, you know the desert, like the back of your hand, why did you take them over there? They weren't lost. They were being led. So what do you mean? And you're not gonna like some of what I'm gonna say, just telling you it's true. Sometimes God leads us to a dead end, to teach us to trust him for the way out. Sometimes God leads us to a dead end, to trust him for the way out. I've told you this many, many times, you don't learn to trust God in the good times of life, you learn to trust God in the bad times. Anybody can trust God when the winds at you're back, it's another thing when the wind is in your face, and that's when God loves to work a miracle.
Can I give you a great example? I went to Southern Seminary Louisville, Kentucky, spent seven years of my life there, got a Master of Divinity, got a PhD, seven years. The first week I went there, true story, the first week I went there, my first Old Testament professor, spent all week telling me why you can't believe Genesis, you can't believe Exodus, God didn't create the world in six days, we got here by evolutionary chance, none of these miracles happened, there was no devil, there was no forbidden fruit, there was no parting of the Red Sea, and then he kept going, no, there was no flood, and there was ark, David did not use a Slingshot and a rock, used a 12 gauge shotgun, I mean heard all of it for seven years. I mean, so this first week, he is just tearing the Bible apart.
Teresa and I had been married but just a few months, I remember coming back to our little old cracker box apartment, I walked in the door, I said, "I've made a big mistake". In fact, I really, I started weeping, I was just so depressed. She said, "what do you mean"? I said, "I've got an Old Testament professor, I said, I've got nine year old kids that I've taught Sunday school to believe more about the Bible than this guy does". And I said, "I'm telling you, we're in the wrong place". Well she talked me off the ledge, she said, "give it some time".
I stuck it out seven years, I'll tell you they were difficult, they were hard. You could count the number of theological conservatives, like me, on two hands in that whole school, there were two professors that believed the Bible, like I believed the Bible, but you know what, can I tell you something today? I'm so glad I went there. I'm so thankful that God lead me there. You know why? Because God used those seven years to teach me not only what I wanted to believe, but why I believed it. God taught me how to defend my faith. God taught me how to answer these liberal theologians. And that's why I like to tell my son sometimes, and I tell other people, all these new liberal ideas we're hearing out there today, folks, number one, they're not new, listen, it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when one question was asked, did God really say that?
So today we've got people saying, what's wrong with gay marriage? Well, God really said this. Well, what's wrong with shacking up before you get married? Yeah, but God really said this. Well, what's wrong, no, no, God really said that. And so I look back and I realized, you know what? I thought I made a big mistake when I went to that school. No, no, no, no, God led me there. And here's what's hard for you to accept, sometimes God will lead you to a detour. Sometimes God will lead you to a dead end. Sometimes God will lead you to a dry hole. And you're sitting there thinking, okay, what did I do to deserve this? I'm sorry, how in the world did I mess up? And what you don't understand is, you're not outta the will of God, you're in the will of God.
As a matter of it can very well mean, you are absolutely the will of God. Let me tell you why, how many of you, let me ask you this, how many of you at least admit, I love this story about the Red Sea? How many of you say man I love it? What a great story, right? Everybody agree with that? All right, I think about this, you can't cross the Red Sea, if you don't come to the Red Sea. You cannot cross the Red Sea until you come to the Red Sea. So the point is, who likes going to the Red Sea? Nobody. Who likes Red Sea moments? Nobody. However, what God says is, "I can't lead you through it, if I don't lead you to it".
So trust God, wherever he leads, everybody got that? Number one, trust God wherever he leads. Now you may say, okay, check, got that. And there's a part of me that wishes I could stop right there because this message doesn't get easier it gets harder, because it's not enough just to trust God where every leads. Now we're gonna turn it up a little bit. Now we're going turn the heat up, ready? Not only you trust God where ever he leads, but if you're gonna get through your Red Sea moment, you got to obey God whenever he speaks. You got to obey God whenever he speaks.
Now we're in Exodus 14:9, "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. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians marching after them. They were terrified and they cried out to the Lord". All right, put yourself in this scene. You're the Israelites. You can hear the thundering hoofs of the horses coming down the bank. You see the spears and the swords gleaming in the noon day sun. You can feel the heat of Pharaohs rage, and you look at the Red Sea and you say, "it's a good name 'cuz it's about to be red with our blood, this is all over for me".
Now let me ask you a question. You're Moses, what would you do at that moment? I mean, you're the guy that led them there. What would you do at that moment? I thought about this the other day, I thought, you know, I'd probably just yell one word, run, what I do. I mean, I'd be looking for every white flag I could find to raise and surrender hoping for mercy. Well, how does Moses respond? You're gonna love this part, ready? "Moses, answer the people, don't be afraid".
Now you're the Israelites, and you're looking to this white-haired guy that got you into this mess, and you're looking for him to really give you some encouragement, and he looks at you and says, "don't be afraid". Wouldn't you wanna hit him in the head with a brick? Don't be afraid, is that all you got? I'm about to see my family slaughtered in front of my very eyes, and all you can say is don't be afraid? Well, it gets better, Moses continues, "stand firm and you'll see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today, you will never see again". I'm gonna be very honest, if I were an unbeliever, if I didn't believe the Bible, if I were an agnostic, if I were a cynic, if I were a critic, I'd read that and I'd say, "you know what that sounds like to me? That sounds like psychological positive Babel. That just sounds like to me, like psycho pop".
I've heard that before. You know, there are preachers that preach like this, man yeah, God wants you to have the Mercedes, and God wants you to have the Rolex, and God wants you to have the house on the lake. So, you know, be confident. Here's Moses, be confident, fear not, don't run, be calm, stand firm, and you wanna say, get lost. And here's what we don't like, 'cuz it's really great advice, because one of the first things God will always do in your life, when you come to a Red Sea moment, you know what he'll do? He'll tell you to stand still. He'll say "just stop". And that's where we get real frustrated, we get irritated, God are you listening to me? Do you see what I'm going through? Do you see what I need? Do you see the problem that I've got?
I don't hear you God, I don't see you God, and God just looks at us and says, "be still". Because if you're like me, and you getting those Red Sea moments, can I tell you what I tend to do? I walk the floor. I bite my fingernails. I sweat bullets. I get worried. And I start trying to think in my mind, okay, how can I get myself out of this? And I lay awake at night thinking, okay, what can I do to solve my problem? And all the time, you're going through all of those imaginations, trying to figure your problem out, God says one thing, "be still and know that I am God". Just "be still and know that I am God".
Now you say, well doc, the Israelites didn't really have a choice did they? Well, no they didn't. Here's the good news. If you do what you can, God will do what you can't. If you will do what you can, God will do what you can't. See Moses reminds us in our Red Sea moments, we've gotta trust in the presence of God, we've gotta listen to the voice of God, and if you'll do that God says, "you just stay still, in my time, not yours. Cool it, back off, I'll come through when I'm ready". And God says, "if you'll just be still at the right time, my time, I will show you what to do. I will tell you what to do". And once you've done all that you know to do, you simply wait and you simply watch what God decides to do.
This is unbelievable day 'cuz there's some people here, I didn't even know we're coming, and so I'm not doing this for their benefit. But 18 years ago, I'm pastoring a church 12 miles from here, and they'll testify to this. I didn't need to leave, fact they didn't want me to leave. I mean, in this town where I pastor, I'd been there 18 years, I mean and I say this with all respect, but I was the guy in that town, I was the Pope of that town. I got pulled over, true story, they don't even know this. I got pulled over by a civil police officer one time, he didn't know who I was till I gave him my driver, I'd run a red light and I did run the red light, barely but I did run it. So I give him my driver's license. He looks at it, gives it back says, "Merritt, said, you pastor First Baptist Church"? I said, "yes sir".
So, okay, I'll be right back, and he comes back, gives me license, have a great day, I said, "but I'm guilty, sir, I did run the red light", 'cause I saw the light change as I went under, so I did run the red light. Said, "I know you did, you're guilty, but no ticket for you". I said, "why"? "Well, I just talked to the chief, he said, don't you ever give that guy a ticket, we love that guy". I didn't have to leave, could have stayed there the rest, I could have coasted, I'm 50 years old, and then God gives me this crazy idea of planting a church, which I never thought I would do. So the good news is, me with about 200 people, core people, we start a church, we met the high school cafeteria down the road, and those people that were with me back then, could attest to the fact, I really felt like it was a Red Sea moment, 'cause I'm like the dog that caught the car, now what do you do? 'Cuz I got this massive complex here and all this property, but we don't have the money to even buy the thing.
And I remember sitting at my house one day, I was talking to Teresa, I remember telling her, "you know what, I've done everything I know that God has told me to do". And she said, "well then you know what? All you can do is just watch what God will do". And you know what? God came through. And because of the generosity of some men and women, yeah, give the Lord a hand. Because of the generosity of some men, great, great men that I love with all of my heart, we are here right now. So Moses has done all he can do, everything he can do and now you wait. So the troops are coming and here's the good news, you ready for, I love this part. Pharaoh thinks I've got you guys right where I want you, and God is saying, "oh no pal, I got you right where I want you".
Now you don't even know what's going on, bro. So watch this, God speaks. "Moses, raise your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through on dry ground". Okay, so now God speaks and God gives one order, "face the Red Sea and forward march". What? Face the Red Sea and forward march. Now watch this, people miss this. I love history. This is the first time in all recorded human history, first time, that an entire nation that was enslaved by another nation, went out from under the bondage of that nation, the first time in history, they did it. They never fired a shot. They never wielded a sword. They never pulled a knife. They never shot a gun. They never fired an arrow, never, first time ever happened.
Think about Moses, Moses had never led an Exodus before, by the way, I went back and did my homework, you probably don't know this. There weren't any schools back then that gave a degree in Exodus ology. There was no 1-800 Exodus hotline. There was no book written on how to do an Exodus. You couldn't go to YouTube and watch a tutorial on how to part a Red Sea. Moses had no clue how to do it. There's only one thing you need to do, when God speaks, you obey, when God speaks, you obey. So here's the lesson, you ready? Here's the lesson. When you do what is possible, you can trust God to do the impossible. When you do what's possible, you can trust God to do the impossible. So what do you do? I'm in a Red Sea moment, pastor, what do I do?
Number one, trust God, wherever he leads. Number two, obey God whenever he speaks, just do what he tells you to do. I wish I could stop there, but I gotta turn it up, we gotta tighten it a little bit more, and you're not gonna like some of this either. You ready? It will not do you any good to trust God, wherever he leads, it won't do you any good to obey God, whenever he speaks, if you're not willing to glorify God whatever he does. No matter what you do, I'm gonna glorify you. You remember the story? We love the story. You remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? Remember the three men that were thrown into the fiery furnace? Do you remember what they said to that Nebuchadnezzar guy? "Our God is able to deliver us, but if not, we're not gonna bow, we're not gonna bend and we're not gonna budge".
So here's the point. Are you willing to praise God, magnify God, love God, trust God and glorify God, whether you come through the furnace, or you burn up in the furnace? You gotta be willing to come forward. You say, "Lord, whatever you do, I'm gonna glorify you". Now, this leads us to what God was doing, and why God was doing it. Let me ask you a question. Pop quiz. Why did God part the Red Sea? Why did he do that? You know, here's what most of you say right away, "well, he parted the Red Sea to rescue the people". That's not why he parted the Red Sea. That was the result. That is not the motive, that is not what he was thinking, when he said I'm gonna part the Red Sea. Let's let God tell us why he parted the Red Sea, you ready? "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh, and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. So the Israelites did this".
Now I'm gonna teach you something about your relationship with God, and if you don't get this down, I promise you, you're gonna be frustrated with God. You're gonna be angry with God. You're gonna be irritated with God. You're gonna criticize God. And some of you'll be even tempted to walk away from God. God's way is always the best way, and God's way is always the right way. But God's way is not always the easy way. If you don't get that in your mind, you're gonna come to these Red Sea moments, and you're gonna have this attitude, I don't deserve this, I've gone to church, I've paid my tithe, I've been faithful, I've served in the nursery, I've taught kids, I've worked in the preschool ministry, I've worked in our CarePoint ministry, I've paid my taxes, I've dotted my I's, I've crossed my T's and I get cancer. And we're living in a world today that says, you know what?
If God doesn't do what you want, when you want, and the way you want it, chuck him. I'm gonna burst a bubble today, and it's gonna go against some of the most popular preachers in this country. God's primary concern, bad grammar, good theology, God's primary concern ain't your happiness, God's primary concern is his glory. We're going to spend eternity, you know what gonna spend eternity doing? Glorifying God, praising God, magnifying God, loving God, worshiping God, and God said, "Moses you need to let the people know why I'm doing this".
My primary concern is not their living. My primary concern is my glory. And lemme tell you how you know you're really hitting on all eight cylinders with God, and I say this to him every day. Lord, if it will bring more glory to you that I die than live, take my life today. If it would bring more glory to you for me to die than live, take my life today because here's what God was doing. God didn't make it easy because if the Israelites could have beaten the army back on their own, if the Israeli Israelites could have found a way to escape on their own, you know what they would've done? They would've patted themselves on the back. They had said, "look what we did". And they would've left God out in the cold, but God always has a method to his madness. So now to the part of the story, kids love, adults love, everybody loves.
Here we go. "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night, the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind, and turned it into dry land, the waters were divided". Then here's the last, "went through the sea on dry ground with a wall of water on their right and on their left". So, you know the story, Moses holds it right over the sea, God parts the sea, between two gigantic walls of water, 2 million Israelites cross over into dry land, and Charlton Heston wins in Oscar. But they're not outta the woods yet, because the Egyptian army is hot on their trail, but thank God they forgot their life preservers. They didn't bring their rubber duck.
So we read this. "Then the Lord said to Moses, stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians, and their chariots and horseman. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to his place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea, the water flowed back and covered the chariots and horseman, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea, and not one of them survived". It's cool man, God's holding back, I mean, you're seeing those, you know, I saw this in the movie. That was a joke. So you're watching these people, man, you can hear the water just bubbling and blowing, it's just, I mean, you can hear the roar of the water, and they're walking through the sea, and then God just lets go. All God does just puts his hand in his pocket. Bam, seas come back, the Egyptian Army's drowned, remember that seminar?
I went to a seminar, I told you I went to a seminary. There was not an Old Testament professor, that I know of back in that day, that actually believed this actually happened. They just didn't believe it. They said, "naw, there must have been some meteorological, there must have been some physiological, there must in some scientific, you know, explanation for it". Matter of fact, I read the other day, about a professor at university was teaching class on biblical literature, and he told the class, he said, "you know that story about the parting of the Red Sea, said number one, it wasn't the Red Sea, it was a Sea of Reads". And he said, "number two, he said it was, it was not even a sea at all, in fact it was only about six inches deep".
Well was this one student raised his hand and he said, "really, it wasn't the Red Sea"? "No, it wasn't the Red Sea, it was the Sea of Reads". And he says, "only six inches deep". He said, "six inches". That student said, "that is one of the greatest things I've ever heard in my life, I wish my pastor told me this". And the professor said, "so you like my explanation"? He said, "like it, man, I love it". He said, "matter of fact, I'm teaching 10th grade boys in Sunday school, I'm gonna teach them that next Sunday". He said, "really"? He said, "oh yeah". He said, "can you imagine"? He said, "I never realized that the Lord drowned the whole Egyptian army in six inches of water, what a miracle".
Now the truth of the matter is, there are a lot of liberal scholars to this day, they said "never happened, just a myth". And to be truthful with you, I can't physiologically or meteorologically, explain exactly how it did happen, but I know it was a miracle, and I know that for two reasons, whatever happened, I know it was a miracle, 'cuz two miracles happened, when Moses stuck his hand out, the waters parted, when he stuck the staff out, when he stuck his hand out, the waters came back, that's a miracle, that is a miracle. So what's the point? How does this relate to you? How does this help you? Because you gotta get up and live in the morning, and you gotta go face that Red Sea moment today.
All right, here's the point of the story. If God leads you to a wall, it's his job to break down the wall. If God leads you to a door that is closed, it's God's job to open the door. If God leads you to a sea, it's his job either to part it or teach you to swim, that's his part. But now there's one other side of the story I don't want you to miss as we wrap this up, okay? Everything that God does is not just for his glory, it's by his grace. Because there's a part of this story, I don't want you to miss. So the water comes back. The Egyptian army is drowned. You got horses and chariots and military equipment, and bodies floating all over that sea, and at daybreak, the Israelites look back, and all these soldiers are dead, and they've been saved.
And how much credit did they deserve? Not a bit. They didn't raise one finger to make that happen. They didn't do one thing. They hadn't killed a single man. They had not fought a single battle. They had not wielded a single sword. What had they done? Here's all they had done. They followed where God led them to go. They obeyed what God told them to do. And then they believed God for what God said he would do. That's all they did. So that's a great miracle, oh, but there's a greater miracle. This is what I love about this 'cuz most people miss it. If I were to say to you, "hey, what is the great miracle that happened that day"?
You said, "well God, parted the water, and they got through that's the great". No, no, no, there's a greater, greater miracle, much greater miracle than the parting of the Red Sea, say, well, what is it? You remember God made a prediction to Moses, that I'm sure when God said it, even Moses said, God, I know your God, but I don't know that I can buy that? Remember what he said? "The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horseman". He said, "hey, you know these Egyptians that made fun of you? You know this Pharaoh that rejected me all those times, and kept lying through his teeth? You know these guys that worshiped every false God, but would not worship me, you remember that"? Yeah, I remember. "Moses when I'm finished, every one of them and Pharaoh will confess, I am the Lord".
Now watch this. Do you know what the last words were of those Egyptians that got drowned in that sea? Do you remember what their last words were? If you don't let me remind you. "And the Egyptians said, let's get away from the Israelites, the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt". Their last words, by the way, that word, the Lord's, the most sacred word used for God in the Old Testament, Yahweh, they not only said we get it, for the first time, they acknowledged the God they had rejected, for the first time, they had to admit what they didn't want to admit, God did this, they even called him by his name. You say, boy, that is a great miracle. Oh no, there's even greater miracle than that.
You say, "it gets greater"? Oh yeah. Remember for 400 years, Israel had put God in their rear view mirror, for 400 years, God wasn't even on their radar screen, for 400 years, and for the first time in 400 years, Israel came back to their God, because here's what we were read. "And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand that the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant". In a day, 2 million Israelites did what they hadn't done in 400 years. You're God, our God, we are your people, we trust in you, we believe in you, after 400 years. I'm gonna wrap this up. I don't know what Red Sea you're facing right now, and by the way, it may be one that's your fault. It may be one that you purposely walked into. Maybe it's one because you just messed up.
Let me give you some good news, it doesn't matter, God is still with you. When your backs against the wall, the Lord that I know is still before you leading the way, he's still beside you making the way, he'll be behind you securing the way. You say, "oh pastor, that's so good". Yeah, but there's one last piece to the story that I've never heard a preacher talk about, and I don't understand it. So hopefully this will be worth coming for. It so bothers me and troubles me, when I hear so many Christians say, "you know, I love the New Testament, I just don't like the Old Testament. I can kind of understand the New Testament, but I don't really get a lot out of the Old Testament".
Let me tell you why that breaks my heart. All of the Bible is about Jesus, all of it, from Genesis to Revelation, it's all about Jesus. Now I know you're sitting there and you say, oh no, no, no, come on now, tell me what in the world does the Exodus have to do with Jesus? All right, buckle your seatbelt. What Exodus is to the Old Testament, the resurrection of Jesus is in the New Testament. So what do you mean? The Exodus is a perfect picture of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
So what do you mean? Well, let's go back. We were trapped in a dead end called sin, we were pursued by an enemy called death. God takes a staff in the shape of a cross, and he parts this Red Sea of sin. He puts death to death and leads us to a promised land where we will live with him forever and forever, and that's why, and that's why you can know, I don't care how deep, how dark, how desperate your Red Sea moment is, because of the glory of God, and because of the grace of God, and because of the cross of Jesus and that empty tomb, we will make it safely to the other side.
Would you pray with me right now, with his bowed, with eyes closed? To those of you who are watching right now, it may be you're watching by television. It may be that you're watching by computer. It may be you're watching on a phone, it doesn't matter, or you're in this room. You're in a Red Sea moment right now, and you wanna get out of it. You need help to get out of it. The problem is you don't know the Jesus that's the only one that can get you out of it. Would you like to know him today? I wanna invite you, if you never trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I want you to listen to me. Jesus didn't just die on a cross, and come back from the grave just to take you to heaven. But you know why? 'Cause in the meantime you got a life to live down here.
You know why Jesus came and died on a cross, and came back from the grave? So he could walk with you through those Red Sea moments. So he could take you and as a shepherd leads the sheep, lead you where he wants you to go, so you'll obey whatever he tells you to do, so you can glorify him when he does it, and if you do not know that Jesus today, think about this, do you know why you're in that Red Sea moment? Have you ever thought about the fact maybe it's because he's trying to get your attention? And if today you'd say, you know what? I'm tired of fighting life on my own, I'm tired of fighting life battles, I'm trying to do this by myself, I want to know this Jesus. Why don't you just tell him? Why don't you just right now say something like this:
Lord Jesus, I'm in this Red Sea, I'm facing this Red Sea called sin, and I can't get through it, and I got an enemy behind me called death, and he's catching up to me every day and I can't defeat him, but I understand now when you died on the cross, and you came back from the grave, you parted that sinful sea, you put death to death, and you're offering me forgiveness of my sin, and you're offering me eternal life. So today I confess you as my Lord, I trust you as my savior, I receive you into my life, I repent and turn away from my sin, I give all that I am to all that you are.