God Delivers His People

The Gospel Project® for Adults  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:12
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Leader Guide ESV, Unit 4, Session 6, © 2018 LifeWay Christian Resources.
Permission granted to reproduce and distribute within the license agreement with purchaser, edited by Rev. Lex DeLong, M.A.
Why are we captivated by stories of escape or of people overcoming great odds?
(we have an innate desire to cheer for underdogs; such stories often reveal the nobility of having been made in the image of God; we like to see others who are oppressed or threatened, rise to victory over evil and find it east to see ourselves in these stories)
In the spring of 1940, during World War II, a large force of British and French soldiers became trapped in the coastal town of Dunkirk, France. The advancing German army had them surrounded on land while the English Channel halted their retreat.
But then, between May 26 and June 4, the unthinkable happened. More than eight hundred military and civilian vessels of all kinds made the dangerous run to Dunkirk to evacuate as many troops as possible. In the end, around 338,000 men were rescued—the original estimate was 45,000 men at most. The Allies still suffered a great loss in soldiers and resources, but the army survived to fight another day—a turning point for the war. 1
Summary and Goal
God had heard the cries of His people and delivered them from bondage in Egypt through a series of ten plagues, culminating in the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt throughout the land. God lead the Israelites out of Egypt through—not around—the Red Sea. God lead His people with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, reminded readers that God, by His Spirit, fills, empowers, and leads even today. Despite seeing supernatural acts of God, the Israelites continued to doubt Him, much like people today are prone to do.
Session Outline
1. God delivers His people through His guidance (Ex. 13:17-22).
++2. God delivers His people for His glory (Ex. 14:1-4).
++3. God delivers His people through His power (Ex. 14:13-14,21-22,26-28).
Sometimes God’s deliverance comes through how God guides His people. Even the Apostle Paul in the NT, at the start of His 2nd missionary journey, was prevented by the H.S. from going to Asia at the time ACTS 16:6 “They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;” Was this forbidding simply to insure that others received the gospel, or was it to preserve God’s messenger, Paul? Either way, God’s guidance delivered His chosen people, including Paul and his converts. God delivers His people through His guidance.
God’s deliverance is always for His glory, much like the narrative of David and Goliath. 1 Sam. 17:47 “and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”” All the glory for this victory would be God’s. That day, God’s people were delivered from the Philistines for His glory. God delivers His people for His glory.
God’s deliverance is always through His power. Remember when the Arameans laid siege to Samaria? They were not saved by any act of their own, but through the power of God, just like Israel and the plagues in Egypt. We read in 2 Kings 7:6-7 “For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life.” God delivers His people through His power.
Session in a Sentence
God proves He is worthy of praise through who He is and for how He always delivers His people through His guidance, for His glory, through His power.
Christ Connection
God made a way of deliverance for His people through the Red Sea. In a similar manner, God makes a way for His people, even today. 1 Cor. 10:13
1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB95
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Missional Application
No matter what deliverance you are in need of in this life, please know that God does not change. The same God who delivered His people through His guidance, for His glory, through His power is the same God who will deliver His people today in the same way. This hope is for you and for you to share with others.
1 Peter 3:15 NASB95
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
2 Corinthians 1:3 NASB95
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
DDG (p. 65).
As we read the Book of Exodus, we can see ourselves in this story. Like the Israelites, all of humanity is enslaved, only instead of enslaved by another nation, all are enslaved by sin. Israel needed deliverance—rescue—from outside of themselves. They needed a deliverer. In the same way, so do we. For the Israelites in Exodus, God raised up Moses, one of their own born in Egypt, to lead His people out of slavery. For our rescue, God sent Jesus, born as a human, and now His Spirit to lead us out of slavery to sin and into the promise of inheritance as a natural born child of God.
God had heard the cries of His people and delivered them from bondage in Egypt through a series of ten plagues, culminating in the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt throughout the land. God lead the Israelites out of Egypt through—not around—the Red Sea. God lead His people with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, reminded readers that God, by His Spirit, fills, empowers, and leads even today. Despite seeing supernatural acts of God, the Israelites continued to doubt Him, much like people today are prone to do.

Point 1: God delivers His people through His guidance (Ex. 13:17-22).

Read Exodus 13:17-22 (DDG p. 66).
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.
· Instead of just depending on Moses to lead Israel, God chose to lead the Israelites Himself by going ahead of the people in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. There would be no mistake that they were precisely where God wanted them to be, even when their journey took them in unexpected directions.
· The Israelites followed the Lord and set out in battle formation, but they would not raise a sword or hurl a spear for some time. God chose an irregular route for His people because He knew they were not ready for war.
Commentary: God had delivered His people from Egypt as He had promised. Rescuing them from bondage; however, was just the first part of His plan. Now it was time to return the people to the land He had promised to Abraham and his descendants (Ex. 3:8). Joseph had brought Jacob’s family from that land to Egypt four hundred and thirty years earlier. Now it was time for the patriarch’s descendants to go home. In keeping with Joseph’s last wishes (Gen. 50:24-25), they took his bones with them to bury him in the promised land.
What can we learn about God from the duration and fulfillment of His promise to His people.
(God wanted His people to know He was with them always; God was concerned about the people’s psychological and emotional well-being; God is kind; God is not bound to time or space; His decree will be accomplished and nothing nor anyone can prevent or change it)
God guided His people in a tangible way in the pillar of cloud and fire, but God’s people today are guided by a greater means: the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God lives in Christians, opening our eyes and hearts toward Him and conforming us to the image of the Son.
This is the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, and this Spirit empowers us to walk a faithful journey through life. God is with us.
God is with us to guide us in another way as well: through the Bible. God has spoken to us in His Word and revealed all we need to know about Him and to live faithfully as His people. The Spirit within us illuminates the Scriptures to help us understand them.
It would be fascinating to see what the pillars of cloud and fire looked like and be guided by them, but God is ever-present with His people and continues to guide us today—He just does so in a better way. We can’t forget that the same God who led His people out of slavery in Egypt is the same God we follow today.
Through Jesus and by His Spirit, God leads us out of slavery to sin, crushing the enemy of Satan, and then He dwells within us, in our hearts, leading us and guiding us every step of the way.
What are things we can do to be more in tune with God’s guidance through the Spirit and Scripture?
(we can pray constantly; we can immerse ourselves in God’s Word on a daily basis; we can commit to regular attendance with the gathering of God’s people in worship and Bible study; we can fellowship with God’s people during the week for encouragement and support in the faith)

Point 2: God delivers His people for His glory (Ex. 14:1-4).

Read Exodus 14:1-4 (DDG p. 67).
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
God led the Israelites in such a way that Pharaoh would decide they were easy prey and pursue them. DDG (p. 67) This was all part of God’s plan to receive glory through them.
· The Israelites had set out from Egypt in an unexpected way. Instead of heading toward their promised homeland, they took an indirect route and remained within Egypt’s borders, hemmed in by the wilderness.
The news reached Pharaoh that the Israelites had turned back and camped in the worst possible place. They were boxed in—trapped.
· Pharaoh probably thought the Israelites were inept and that their God had either abandoned them or had betrayed them. It was time to act. It was time to avenge his son and all of the others who had perished on that terrible night. He would lead his army—one of the mightiest in the world—out to where the Israelites were camped, where they were trapped, and he would crush them.
God was not just guiding His people as they left Egypt, He was also guiding Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God’s sovereign hand was at work to bring what He willed to pass, as He always does. Pharaoh would indeed march his forces out to a victory, but it would not be his victory. Neither would it be Israel’s victory. It would be the Lord’s.
Fill in the blanks: DDG (p. 67).
God acts for His own glory and for the good of His people.
This moment God had orchestrated would work for His glory and the good of His people.
· The Israelites couldn’t see what God was doing. We read later that as the Egyptian army approached, God’s people cried out in terror to Him for help—help they didn’t believe would come.
They thought they would have been better off to remain in Egypt as slaves than to die in the wilderness (Ex. 14:10-12). But God wanted Egypt to boast, because it would be through the helplessness of His people and the pride and strength of their enemies that He would make His glory known to all.
Everyone—Israelites and Egyptians alike—would know that He alone is God. God had revealed Himself to the Egyptians in the plagues and demonstrated how He was superior to their false gods, and He was about to proclaim His might and glory to them once again.
· At the same time, the Israelites’ journey was far from over. Escaping Egypt was only the beginning. God knew that they had to continue on toward the promised land, a land that was not barren but inhabited by other nations with strong armies and fortified cities. So in the victory God would give His people, He would show them His power. For the good of His people, He would close the door on their past with Egypt and would give them what they needed to continue to follow Him in faith.
DDG (p. 67).
God overflows with love and care for His people and the nations, so He works all things together for their good
Romans 8:28 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For this reason, God orchestrated this clash with Egypt’s army, that the Israelites would see His power and goodness on their behalf. But that was not the only reason, nor the primary reason.
God told Moses, and us, that He worked in this way so that He would be glorified. These two truths are not opposed to one another.
God seeks His glory, so He loves His image bearers and works for our good.
May God’s love for us, and our love given Him in response, drive us and those around us to experience the glory of our good God.
Voices from Church History
“This is the one purpose of God, the great worker in heaven, the source and master of all work, that the glory of His love and power and blessing may be shown. This is the one purpose of Christ, the great worker on earth in human nature, the example and leader of all our work. This is the great purpose of the Holy Spirit, the power that worketh in us … As this becomes our deliberate, intelligent purpose, our work will rise to its true level, and lift us into living fellowship with God.” 2
–Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Point 3: God delivers His people through His power (Ex. 14:13-14,21-22,26-28).

In a moment, the Israelites’ praises of God for freeing them from Egypt gave way to accusations that they were better off in Egypt (Ex. 14:10-12).
The people of God were slow to learn what God had been teaching them through the plagues, but God was about to give them an unforgettable lesson.
Read: Exodus 14:13-14,21-22,26-28, (DDG p. 68).
13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained.
When all seemed lost to the Israelites, God provided the way of escape, not around their obstacle but through it—
the Israelites passed through the sea on dry ground.
God fights for His people even when they doubt His commitment to them.
DDG (p. 68)
When we are honest, we have to admit that we are no different from the Israelites camped by the Red Sea. We have looked around in fear of our situation, accused God of forsaking us, and given up hope. And yet, what was God’s response? He always fights for His people. He never abandons them, and He is not powerless.
Fill in the blanks: DDG (p. 68).
God Is Omnipotent: God has power and authority over the universe He created. As Christians, we rest in the belief that the God who has all power is good, and we gain great comfort by knowing that an all-powerful God is working for our good and joy.
Essential Doctrine “God Is Omnipotent”: God is all-powerful; there is nothing God cannot do so long as it does not contradict His own nature or law. God has power and authority over the universe He created, from the largest solar system to the smallest particle. Affirming that God is all-powerful does not mean that God can sin—since that would go against His perfect moral nature. As Christians, we rest in the belief that the God who has all power is good, and we gain great comfort by knowing that an all-powerful God is working for our good and joy.
Interact: Ask group members the following question.
What makes us struggle so when God makes us walk through adversity rather than sparing us from it?
Read the second paragraph in the DDG (p. 68).
If we miss the story of the unfolding of God’s plan throughout history to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we can actually miss the gospel, at least parts of it. What God has done helps us see what He is doing and what He will do. The Old Testament helps us understand the New Testament better. God’s salvation of the Israelites in the exodus is a shadow of the greater salvation that would come in Christ.
Note the parallels between God’s rescue of the Israelites and the gospel: The Lord delivered a people from slavery, destroyed their enemy, and then dwelled with them as they made their way toward the promised land.
This is a picture of the gospel, of rescue from death to life, of the birth of a new people, of God drawing His people out of darkness and into the light of His presence. We could even go as far as to say that the exodus narrative, including the crossing of the Red Sea, functions as an early gospel.
Commentary: At the Red Sea, we are reminded of God’s distinct activity throughout Scripture: the way He uses water to bring about judgment, cleansing, and thus, redemption. He takes His people safely through water, out of a miserable state, and rescues them. Noah’s ark, Moses’ basket, the parting of the Red Sea, the crossing of the Jordan River, and Jonah’s three days in the fish—these are all examples of God delivering through water. God has given us these stories in Scripture for our instruction, so that we may have a better understanding of the deliverance we have been given in Christ. A deliverance that looked just as impossible—even more so—as the Israelites’ deliverance from the closing vise of Egypt’s army and the Red Sea. A deliverance where God made the impossible possible, rescuing us from the clutches of sin and death through the sacrifice of His Son.
My Mission
Explain: As we read the exodus account, we are swept up into the greater drama of Scripture: the story of salvation. How God acts in the Book of Exodus for the Israelites reveals His divine purposes in history: to liberate His people from slavery and lead them into the land of rest. In Exodus, the slavery was to the Egyptians, and the land of rest was the physical land God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. In the bigger story of Scripture, we see that we are enslaved to sin and Christ leads us into the “rest” of salvation in Him. Not only does Exodus help us better understand the gospel, but the gospel helps us better understand Exodus.
DDG (p. 69)
Knowing how God worked in timing and adversity with the people of Israel, what can we learn about how God works in our own lives?
· How will you respond in faith to the one true, all-powerful God of the exodus and the Son given to save us from our sin?
· In what ways can we demonstrate God’s power to the unbelieving community around us?
· How will you share the way of escape God has provided in Christ with someone you know to be enslaved by sin and the fear of death?
Close in prayer:
1. History.com Staff, “Dunkirk,” History.com, accessed June 4, 2018, https://www.history.com/topics/dunkirk.
2. Andrew Murray, Working for God! (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1901), 158-59.
3. G. A. Chadwick, The Expositor’s Bible: The Book of Exodus (Georgetown, TX: WORDsearch, 2013) [WORDsearch].
4. Dorian G. Coover-Cox, “Exodus,” in CSB Study Bible (Nashville: B&H, 2017), 109-10, n. 13:18.
5. P. G. George and Paul Swarup, “Exodus,” in South Asia Bible Commentary, gen. ed. Brian Wintle (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), 96.
6. “Exodus,” in The Reformation Study Bible (Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005), 113, n. 14:13.
7. Abel Ndjerareou, “Exodus,” in Africa Bible Commentary, gen. ed. Tokunboh Adeyemo (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 104.
8. Dorian G. Coover-Cox, “Exodus,” in CSB Study Bible, 110-11, n. 14:13-14.
9. Sean Michael Lucas, “Exodus,” in Gospel Transformation Bible (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), 92, n. 14:1-31.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more