Today's Bible reading: Exodus 14:21-31
Pharaoh reluctantly gives permission for Israel to leave Egypt – but the people are not safe yet. God's final act of rescue from Egypt comes with the crossing of the Red Sea. Though it was Moses who stretched his hand out over the waters, Israel later always recalled that it was God Himself who lead them out and rescued them “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” It is when despair has set in - when all human hope is gone - that God works His mighty wonders. The only fitting response to His saving power is songs of praise.
In our Rite of Holy Baptism, one of our prayers begins: “Almighty and eternal God, according to your strict judgment you condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to your great mercy you preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned hardhearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet you lead your people Israel through the water on dry ground, foreshadowing this washing of your Holy Baptism.” Here in the story of God's deliverance of His people through the waters of the Red Sea, we see a foreshadowing of our greater deliverance through the waters of Holy Baptism. These waters washed away all sin that was inherited and every sin that is committed … which is why our only fitting response to His saving power is also songs of praise and worship!
As an ending note … it's amazing for us to consider the parallels between the Israelites and ourselves – God's people of old and God's people today. God makes promises to us. He remembers His promises … He remembers us … and He keeps His promises to us. He calls us through His Word by the power of His Holy Spirit. Sometimes, we heed His call right away. Other times, we react more like Moses did … and make excuses. But He doesn't give up on us. He continues to call us by the Gospel … and through His death and grave He delivers us from our death and grave … and through His resurrection He brings us on the new and final Exodus of Salvation.
Baptism is your Exodus! May the Holy Spirit continue to be with you on your journey so that you may persevere in the faith - by His grace - unto life everlasting.
Prayer: "The Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God and i will praise him, my father's God and i will exhalt Him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name." Amen (15:2-3)
SEE YOU IN WORSHIP TOMORROW - GOD BLESS YOUR DAY!