God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. This theme runs every where throughout Scripture. So, are there some principles we can learn? Not commands, the Bible is full of commands, but actual principles for perfecting His power in our weakness?
Orville and Wilbur Wright spent four year of painstaking observation, study and then pure experimental method to discover the principles of manned flight. They built a wind tunnel. They tried different airfoils. They moved the rudder from the front to the rear. Figured out how to ‘warp’ the wings so they could steer. They designed an airplane propeller – no one had ever done this before!
And all of this was discipleship. Where so many had failed by NOT going through this learning of the principles and had jumped off barn roofs with feathers strapped to their arms, or built enormous contraptions they launched with a catapult off the roof of a houseboat in the Potomac – these two brothers did NOT take those shortcuts, but disciplined themselves to learn the principles.
The EXODUS was the Defining Moment for Israel’s formation as a nation. And especially the Red Sea crossing in Exodus 14 was the moment that it all began. There are Five Principles we can discover from this chapter about strength in weakness.
First Principle: The Egyptians had chariots, skilled military men, a powerful, trained army and numbers. And Israel had an 80 yr. old shepherd with a stick in his hand
in a world of experts, God delights to use the plain, the weak, the overlooked, the ordinary, ‘the vanilla’ to accomplish His purposes . There was another shepherd this time it was a very young man (a boy) with 5 stones in his hand facing off against the champion of the Philistines: a nine foot giant named Goliath. So God actually chooses to work through foolishness and weakness so that it will be obvious to all that the power and glory belong to Him alone.
Second Principle: “God who brought you here” (vs.1-3) God is the One who has brought us to the end of our rope, with the Egyptian Army before us and the Red Sea behind us. God brought you here. And He did it, as we learned back in chapter one, “This happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” – 2 Cor. 1:9
Third Principle: PRAY! “They were terrified and cried out to the Lord” (vs. 10)
Too many of us are suffering from the “nothing-can-be-done” disease!! PRAY!
Fourth Principle: Do nothing. “Stand firm. Don’t be afraid. Be still.” (13,14)
Willed passivity: this is always God’s work, not ours. When I am weak, then I am strong.
The first use of the word “SAVED” occurs in this chapter, first as a noun in vs. 13, then as a verb in vs. 30. It’s actually colorful in the original language, more like: “He flicked the Egyptians off like a flea” (vs. 27 swept them into the sea). Salvation is not, never has been, never will be a human project. God’s work of saving them in this chapter is not even qualified by Israel’s faith – she had none.
Fifth Principle: Give time for God to work. “Throughout the night…” (vs 20)
Have a great deal of patience and trust God to deliver you in His own unique way each time. Psalm 77 captures the wonder of the Red Sea crossing that we forget by familiarity with the story: “Your path led through the sea; your way through the mighty waters; though your footprints were not seen.” A dry path right through the Sea? With a walls of water on the right and on the left? Who would have conceived such a story?!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon captures this well:
The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before. That
which, like the sea, threatens to drown you, shall become a highway
for your escape.