And the LORD said to Moses, Why cry you to me? speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward:
Both the Israelites and Egyptians went forward; but how? and to what? —
I. THE ISRAELITES WENT FORWARD IN OBEDIENCE TO DIVINE COMMANDS; THE EGYPTIANS, IN OPPOSITION TO THE DIVINE WILL.
1. As regards the Israelites — In this particular crisis He commanded them to proceed (ver. 15). The means and mode of their advance were prescribed by Him (ver. 16).
2. The Egyptians went forward in defiance of the will of God.
II. THE ISRAELITES WENT FORWARD HAVING THE PRESENCE OF GOD WITH THEM AS A HELP; THE EGYPTIANS HAVING THAT PRESENCE AS A HINDRANCE (VER. 19, 20).
III. THE ISRAELITES WENT FORWARD IN WISE RELIANCE UPON GOD; THE EGYPTIANS IN INFATUATED DARING OF HIM.
IV. THE ISRAELITES WENT FORWARD HAVING THE FORCES OF NATURE CONTROLLED IN THEIR FAVOUR; THE EGYPTIANS WITH THOSE FORCES USED TO THEIR CONFUSION AND OVERTHROW (vers. 21-27). Nature renders loyal obedience to its Lord. The Most High employs nature's elements and forces for the defence and deliverance of His people, and for the defeat and destruction of His foes.
V. THE ISRAELITES WENT FORWARD TO SPLENDID VICTORY AND SPIRITUAL PROFIT; THE EGYPTIANS TO UTTER DEFEAT AND DEATH.
1. As to the Israelites —
(1) Their triumph was complete and glorious (vers. 29, 30).
(2) They also derived moral benefit from the event (ver. 31). Reverential fear of God was inspired within them, and their faith in Him and in His servant Moses was quickened and confirmed.
2. But the Egyptians were utterly overthrown and slain (ver. 28).Lessons:
1. Going forward is not always making progress.
2. Going forward is true progress only when it accords with the will of God.
3. The path of duty is often beset with difficulties.
4. Difficulties in the path of duty disappear before believing obedience.
5. Rebellion against God leads to trouble and distress, and if persisted in must end in irretrievable ruin.
6. Faith in God and obedience to Him lead onward and upward to glorious triumph.
7. The deliverances wrought for us by the hand of God should encourage us to reverence and trust Him.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: