And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exodus 13:16-22)
The invisible God led the children of Israel as His own people by the visible, moving, guiding, cloudy pillar. So the Holy Spirit leads us now through the pillar of the Word of God. As God made the pillar a sheltering cloud and a shining fire, so the Holy Spirit makes the Word of God to every believer a place of refuge and a guiding light. Those led by the Lord:
I. HAVE BEEN DELIVERED BY THE LORD. v. 16
- Not rebels, but SONS are LED by the SPIRIT.
- While under the dominion of sin, we are in the “house of bondage.”
- We must be freed by His BLOOD before we can become kings & priests unto God.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6)
- “Salvation is of the Lord.”
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. (Jonah 2:9)
II. SHOULD UNWAVERINGLY FOLLOW. vs. 17-18
- It is easy for us to follow the Lord when we are led the NEAR WAY, the way we expect to go.
- Also, it would to easy to go back to Egypt if they went the closest way.
- But faith is tested when the way leads us ROUND ABOUT and through the wilderness.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
- God leads us in a way that we will not be tested more than we can endure.
III. SHALL FOLLOW IN AN ORDERLY MANNER. v. 18
- They went out following the Lord as an orderly, armed host.
- Can there be anything else than harmonious regularity when the Lord leads and when all willingly follow Him.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (I Corinthians 1:10)
IV. WILL WALK IN THE LIGHT. v. 21
God, in the pillar, led them, sheltered them and satisfied them with bread and in the dark, light shone upon them.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
V. WILL BE PURSUED BY THE ENEMY.
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. (Exodus 14:8-9)
- Pharaoh said, “They are entangled in the land.”
For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. (Exodus 14:3)
- “They are crazy and don’t know where they are going.”
- Yes, when we are led by the Lord, we appear to be foolish in the eyes of the world.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(I Corinthians 1:26-31)
VI. SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:13-14)
- The victory is won by faith.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:11-18)
VII. SHALL SING THE SONG OF TRIUMPH.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. (Exodus 15:1)
A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David. I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:1-5)