Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crossing Any Sea いかなる海も越えて

 Exodus 13-14 / 出エジプト13-14
    I have always like history and esp. war stories.  From the Early Greeks until present, a war stories interest me.  How the soldiers handled themselves before, during and after the conflict makes a great story. My Uncle Stanley told me about the battle he was in while serving with General George S. Patton at The Battle of the Bulge.  It was during this battle, my uncle would be the only one to come out alive as his tank was hit, and him-being short—was the gun man and the only one to get out of the flaming wreck. He would relive that incident many times, esp. as he became a heavy drinker. On his deathbed, he was re-living the ordeal with screams and profanity.  He left this world in fear and dread.  Looking back, I was and still am moved by his story. He saw so much and had been thru so much—he had deep personal pain. But he found no real rest from crossing that sea of trouble.

    Unlike our story this morning, when there were well over 600,000 men plus woman and children, many of them survived the ordeal and lived to tell about it another day.  They and their ancestors had been slaves in Egypt—and had been in that country for 430 years. On the very day of the total 430 years, they were allowed to go free and having been, for the later part of that time, slaves to this nation. The times were harsh, they cried out to God, He heard their cry and He sent Moses—who had grown up in the Pharaoh’s house as a Prince—to lead His People out. And they found themselves near to crossing a sea of trouble and of doubt.

    Here they were on the day of their departure from this harsh land and all of them were glad to go.  Life had been hard and now, they were going to worship their God “I AM THAT I AM” at a place He would be guiding them and they were being lead by the 80 year old Moses—with his stick.  So, come with me as we are Crossing Any Sea.

Armed for Battle; Standing Firm; Time For Action; The Big Switch.
   Exodus 13:8 “On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.” 出エジプト記 / 13 8 あなたはこの日、自分の子供に告げなければならない。『これは、わたしがエジプトから出たとき、主がわたしのために行われたことのゆえである』と。
 They NEED to know our story. Telling our children how we got to were we are with God IS SO IMPORTANT! Tell them our story.  Have you done that? Have you shared with your friends, children, grandchildren how you came to know Jesus?  They will not pick it up off the floor. You have to tell them.  Prepare them for the adventure with knowledge of the Holy One. Let them know how God touched your heart and lead you into His Love. If you don’t, who will? Will anyone else be interested in the eternal souls of your children? Don’t wait until they are old and set in their ways. Tell them now.

     God was not going to make it easy on the Hebrews. He needed to toughen them up and have them be a unit to lead. He did not sent then on the short way—through the Philistine country but the long way, via the Sea. 13:17 “For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 出エジプト記 / 13 17 さて、ファラオが民を去らせたとき、神は彼らをペリシテ街道には導かれなかった。それは近道であったが、民が戦わねばならぬことを知って後悔し、エジプトに帰ろうとするかもしれない、と思われたからである。

 He set a Pillar of fire there. 13:21-22  By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
出エジプト記 / 13 21
主は彼らに先立って進み、昼は雲の柱をもって導き、夜は火の柱をもって彼らを照らされたので、彼らは昼も夜も行進することができた。 昼は雲の柱が、夜は火の柱が、民の先頭を離れることはなかった。
God both protects them and guides them: The WORD of God (the Bible) does the same for us!  They needed time to become a Nation. His Nation. So He got them ready and...

 Armed for Battle. 戦いのための軍備

     So many times, God does the same with us. Something could had been done one way but He took us through another way altogether different. If we would be able to KNOW that our way would be best, we might have some solid ground to stand on BUT HIS WAY IS BEST!  He knows the beginning from the end.  He knows the middle part. The part where we would have missed the real lesson and fallen on our faces. 

    So here we have a new nation leaving the place of slavery with all sorts of gifts given to them to get them out of their country. Along with the gold, silver, silk and such also was given to them weapons of war.  They were given someone else’s armor and swords.  Gifts from the Egyptians.  They were shepherds and brick makers. And now God wanted them to wear the stuff of war without the battle—to get use to it. Testing it out.  When the tools of warfare become comfortable to you—when they feel right in your hands and on your backs, you can use them better. They became Armed For Battle.

   End of 14:4 God was messing with Pharaoh. 14:4  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this.
14 4わたしはファラオの心をかたくなにし、彼らの後を追わせる。しかし、わたしはファラオとその全軍を破って栄光を現すので、エジプト人は、わたしが主であることを知るようになる。」彼らは言われたとおりにした。

14:5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!”
14 5 民が逃亡したとの報告を受けると、エジプト王ファラオとその家臣は、民に対する考えを一変して言った。「ああ、我々は何ということをしたのだろう。イスラエル人を労役から解放して去らせてしまったとは。」

14:5 . “So the Israelites did this.”  Good sign/ obey/believe.

14:7  He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.
出エジプト記 / 14 7 えり抜きの戦車六百をはじめ、エジプトの戦車すべてを動員し、それぞれに士官を乗り込ませた。

14:8 The Hebrews marched out boldly! 14 8 イスラエルの人々は、意気揚々と出て行ったが
All the Kings horses and all the kings’ men overtook the Hebrews near the sea.

14:10 They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 14 10 いかかろうとしていた。イスラエルの人々は非常に恐れて主に向かって叫び、FEAR in the Hebrews.  What ever happened, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord.  Ever been there? How does it feel? Alone?

14:11  They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?
14 11また、モーセに言った。「我々を連れ出したのは、エジプトに墓がないからですか。荒れ野で死なせるためですか。一体、何をするためにエジプトから導き出したのですか。

Moses says “Don’t be afraid!”  Easy to say but hard to live it!
14:13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
出エジプト記 / 14 13モーセは民に答えた。「恐れてはならない。落ち着いて、今日、あなたたちのために行われる主の救いを見なさい。あなたたちは今日、エジプト人を見ているが、もう二度と、永久に彼らを見ることはない。

    And you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring.  Sit back and see!  There is neither evidence that even Moses knew nor how God was going to deliverer them. He trusted God with the outcome.  He told them: “The problem you see today, you will never see again.”

14:14  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 出エジプト記 / 14 14主があなたたちのために戦われる。あなたたちは静かにしていなさい。」

    That is against everything human.  If you want something—fight for it!  If it is important to you—go for it! Don’t hold back.  But here, God is teaching His People/us that His way is different.  The only ‘defensive’ action done was for Moses to lift his arm and they saw the Power of the Lord.  Moses was willing to be lead this way because he had developed a close relationship with his God.  Remember earlier in Exodus? They talked to each other like they were friends.  They were.  Are you friends with God? Do you listen to His voice and do you obey Him?  Even in the little things of life. Do you have a time with God? Talk with Him? Read His Word? Share His Love with others—esp. the ones in your family? Stand Firm and be still before Him!

    God says to Moses, “Why cry to Me?”  Act!  Move it!  It is time for action and the only action done by the People of God at that time was to move.  God said to move and they moved.  They had an incentive.  Angry Egyptians at their heals ready for revenge.  They lost their oldest brothers, their fathers and all that loss of property.  Now was the time for BLOOD!  They wanted to kill a lot of  Hebrews!

    So God told Moses to raise his staff—yet again—to see the Power of God.  Good will happen, but not for the Egyptian Army. But through the Hebrew People, God would show His Power and Mighty Acts and the Egyptians WILL KNOW I AM THE Lord

Ready for the Big Switch. 大きな転換点
    At the 11th hour, during the last watch, when all help was fading, THEN the Lord moved. 14:19  Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,
出エジプト記 / 14 19イスラエルの部隊に先立って進んでいた神の御使いは、移動して彼らの後ろを行き、彼らの前にあった雲の柱も移動して後ろに立ち He was there to both protect them and separate them from each other with the Pillar of Fire & Smoke..  

Personal Application   個人個人への適用
    If you were going into battle, wouldn’t you want good protection? Good leaders? A good workable plan to win?  Sure you would. Be prayed up. Be strengthened by His Word and in His Spirit. Be armed for battle. Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

    And now that you got a clear understanding of what He wants, stand firm in the Hope you have in Christ Jesus.

    It is indeed time for action. Move out with the promises of God rightly applied to the situation and hold on to Him!  Look for that great switch when He directs your heart with the Word of God. 

    And as you move on in LIFE, you will cross many Seas—when you do—remember—
Be Armed for Battle

Stand Firm In The Lord

Realize it is Time For Action

Look For The Big Switch