By placing us in situations where there is absolutely no way out, God teaches us to depend on Him.
What is your most cherished possession (not person)? How hard would it be to give up that possession?
The Red Sea is a large, deep body of water between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Shortly after the Israelites had fled Egypt, they came to the Red Sea. They looked around and saw the desert, the sea, mountains on either side, and the Egyptians chasing them. They had nowhere to go; they were trapped. Only Moses remained calm. Exodus 3:1 – 4:17 describes the Burning Bush experience between Moses and God. Because of the encounter with Jehovah and the miracles that happened there, he had complete faith in what God instructed the Israelites to do. But the Israelites were terrified. They finally did as Moses told them and followed God’s plan. After all the Israelites were safely across the sea, they watched as Moses held out his arm and the water refilled the sea, drowning the Egyptians.
The Red Sea experience was a lesson for the Israelites to teach them to depend on God; God could be trusted absolutely. The Israelites did not know about crossing the Red Sea until they were there. God also does this progressive revelation with us today, giving us direction for only one step at a time. He wants us to learn to trust Him at every point. Sometimes there may be a pause in our progression. When we pray, God gives one of 3 answers: yes, no, or wait. Pausing to wait usually means there is something we need to learn. What God wants most is for us to completely depend on Him for everything, every time. This is how He grows us.
How did the Israelites respond to the Red Sea miracle? They praised and worshiped God. They gave offerings and sacrifices as part of their worship. We, too, praise and worship God, out of obedience, but also out of gratitude. Sacrificial offerings are a sweet aroma to God. The offerings lead to blessings in our lives here and now, not just in the distant future.
God still parts the Red Sea. What will be your offering? If God gives you a clear amount to give that you don’t have, exercise your faith. Will it demand a sacrifice? God honors sacrificial giving and will always provide your needs, whenever you give with a clean heart.
1. Read Ex 1:6-14, 3:7-10, 12:31-32, 13:17-18, 14:10. Describe the circumstances that put the Israelites at the Red Sea.
2. Read Ex 3:1-10, 4:14-17. How could Moses remain calm when the Israelites were trapped?
3. What happened to the Egyptians at the Red Sea?
4. What is progressive revelation? Can you give an example of this from your life?
5. Why does God give only one step at a time?
6. What are God’s answers to prayer? Can you share a time in your life when God answered your prayer in one of these three ways?
7. Why does He sometimes say “wait”? Can you share a time when God’s “wait” or “not yet” was a blessing in the long run?
8. How are offerings an important part of praise and worship?
9. Have you ever made a sacrificial offering?
10. Read Rom 8:8. What does it mean to live with a clean heart?