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Exodus 14:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The people feared the Lord - They were convinced by the interference of Jehovah that his power was unlimited, and that he could do whatsoever he pleased, both in the way of judgment and in the way of mercy.

And believed the Lord, and his servant Moses - They now clearly discerned that God had fulfilled all his promises; and that not one thing had failed of all the good which he had spoken concerning Israel. And they believed his servant Moses - they had now the fullest proof that he was Divinely appointed to work all these miracles, and to bring them out of Egypt into the promised land.

Thus God got himself honor upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and credit in the sight of Israel. After this overthrow of their king and his host, the Egyptians interrupted them no more in the journeyings, convinced of the omnipotence of their Protector: and how strange, that after such displays of the justice and mercy of Jehovah, the Israelites should ever have been deficient in faith, or have given place to murmuring!

  1. The events recorded in this chapter are truly astonishing; and they strongly mark what God can do, and what he will do, both against his enemies and in behalf of his followers. In vain are all the forces of Egypt united to destroy the Israelites: at the breath of God's mouth they perish; and his feeble, discouraged, unarmed followers take the prey! With such a history before their eyes, is it not strange that sinners should run on frowardly in the path of transgression; and that those who are redeemed from the world, should ever doubt of the all-sufficiency and goodness of their God! Had we not already known the sequel of the Israelitish history, we should have been led to conclude that this people would have gone on their way rejoicing, trusting in God with their whole heart, and never leaning to their own understanding; but alas! we find that as soon as any new difficulty occurred, they murmured against God and their leaders, despised the pleasant land, and gave no credence to his word.
  • Their case is not a solitary one: most of those who are called Christians are not more remarkable for faith and patience. Every reverse will necessarily pain and discompose the people who are seeking their portion in this life. And it is a sure mark of a worldly mind, when we trust the God of Providence and grace no farther than we see the operations of his hand in our immediate supply; and murmur and repine when the hand of his bounty seems closed, and the influences of his Spirit restrained, though our unthankful and unholy carriage has been the cause of this change. Those alone who humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, shall be lifted up in due season. Reader, thou canst never be deceived in trusting thy all, the concerns of thy body and soul, to Him who divided the sea, saved the Hebrews, and destroyed the Egyptians.
  • Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    The dividing the Red sea was the terror of the Canaanites, Jos 2:9; the praise and triumph of the Israelites, Ps 114:3; 106:9; 136:13. It was a type of baptism, 1Co 10:1,2. Israel's passage through it was typical of the conversion of souls, Isa 11:15; and the Egyptians being drowned in it was typical of the final ruin of all unrepenting sinners. God showed his almighty power, by opening a passage through the waters, some miles over. God can bring his people through the greatest difficulties, and force a way where he does not find it. It was an instance of his wonderful favour to his Israel. They went through the sea, they walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea. This was done, in order to encourage God's people in all ages to trust him in the greatest straits. What cannot he do who did this? What will not he do for those that fear and love him, who did this for these murmuring, unbelieving Israelites? Then followed the just and righteous wrath of God upon his and his people's enemies. The ruin of sinners is brought on by their own rage and presumption. They might have let Israel alone, and would not; now they would flee from the face of Israel, and cannot. Men will not be convinced, till it is too late, that those who meddle with God's people, meddle to their own hurt. Moses was ordered to stretch out his hand over the sea; the waters returned, and overwhelmed all the host of the Egyptians. Pharaoh and his servants, who had hardened one another in sin, now fell together, not one escaped. The Israelites saw the Egyptians dead upon the sands. The sight very much affected them. While men see God's works, and feel the benefit, they fear him and trust in him. How well were it for us, if we were always in as good a frame as sometimes! Behold the end to which a Christian may look forward. His enemies rage, and are mighty; but while he holds fast by God, he shall pass the waves in safety guarded by that very power of his Saviour, which shall come down on every spiritual foe. The enemies of his soul whom he hath seen to-day, he shall see no more for ever.
    Ellen G. White
    Education, 254

    In the study of the Bible the student should be led to see the power of God's word. In the creation, “He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Psalm 33:9; Romans 4:17); for when He calls them, they are. Ed 254.1

    How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world—Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation; Noah and his household against the men of his time, men of the greatest physical and mental strength and the most debased in morals; the children of Israel at the Red Sea, a helpless, terrified multitude of slaves, against the mightiest army of the mightiest nation on the globe; David, a shepherd lad, having God's promise of the throne, against Saul, the established monarch, bent on holding fast his power; Shadrach and his companions in the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne; Daniel among the lions, his enemies in the high places of the kingdom; Jesus on the cross, and the Jewish priests and rulers forcing even the Roman governor to work their will; Paul in chains led to a criminal's death, Nero the despot of a world empire. Ed 254.2

    Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wycliffe and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others, have witnessed to the power of God's word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world's true nobility. This is its royal line. In this line the youth of today are called to take their places. Ed 254.3

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    Ellen G. White
    The Great Controversy, 457

    The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered by God. The computation of the prophetic periods on which that message was based, placing the close of the 2300 days in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment. The repeated efforts to find new dates for the beginning and close of the prophetic periods, and the unsound reasoning necessary to sustain these positions, not only lead minds away from the present truth, but throw contempt upon all efforts to explain the prophecies. The more frequently a definite time is set for the second advent, and the more widely it is taught, the better it suits the purposes of Satan. After the time has passed, he excites ridicule and contempt of its advocates, and thus casts reproach upon the great advent movement of 1843 and 1844. Those who persist in this error will at last fix upon a date too far in the future for the coming of Christ. Thus they will be led to rest in a false security, and many will not be undeceived until it is too late. GC 457.1

    The history of ancient Israel is a striking illustration of the past experience of the Adventist body. God led His people in the advent movement, even as He led the children of Israel from Egypt. In the great disappointment their faith was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Had they still trusted to the guiding hand that had been with them in their past experience, they would have seen the salvation of God. If all who had labored unitedly in the work in 1844, had received the third angel's message and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts. A flood of light would have been shed upon the world. Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work completed, and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people. GC 457.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Christ's Object Lessons, 85

    As the seed sown produces a harvest, and this in turn is sown, the harvest is multiplied. In our relation to others, this law holds true. Every act, every word, is a seed that will bear fruit. Every deed of thoughtful kindness, of obedience, or of self-denial, will reproduce itself in others, and through them in still others. So every act of envy, malice, or dissension is a seed that will spring up in a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15), whereby many shall be defiled. And how much larger number will the “many” poison. Thus the sowing of good and evil goes on for time and for eternity. COL 85.1

    Liberality both in spiritual and in temporal things is taught in the lesson of seed sowing. The Lord says, “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.” Isaiah 32:20. “This I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6. To sow beside all waters means a continual imparting of God's gifts. It means giving wherever the cause of God or the needs of humanity demand our aid. This will not tend to poverty. “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” The sower multiplies his seed by casting it away. So it is with those who are faithful in distributing God's gifts. By imparting they increase their blessings. God has promised them a sufficiency that they may continue to give. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Luke 6:38. COL 85.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 234-6

    The Egyptian host was triumphing through that night that the children of Israel were again in their power. They thought there was no possibility of their escape, for before them stretched the Red Sea, and their large armies were close behind them. In the morning, as they came up to the sea, lo, there was a dry path, the waters were divided, and stood like a wall upon either side, and the children of Israel were half way through the sea, walking on dry land. They waited a while to decide what course they had better pursue. They were disappointed and enraged, that, as the Hebrews were almost in their power, and they were sure of them, an unexpected way was opened for them in the sea. They decided to follow them. “And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot-wheels, that they drave them heavily, so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.” 3SG 234.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 247-8

    *****

    For three days the children of Israel traveled in the wilderness, and could find no good water to drink. They were suffering with thirst, and the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” The children of Israel seemed to possess an evil heart of unbelief. They were unwilling to endure hardships in the wilderness. When they met with difficulties in the way, they would regard them as impossibilities. Their confidence in God would fail, and they could see nothing before them but death. “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full! For ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” 3SG 248.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 265-6

    When the Israelites beheld the Egyptian host in pursuit, some upon horses and some in chariots, and equipped for war, their hearts failed them. The Red Sea was before, the Egyptian host behind. They could see no way of escape. A shout of triumph burst from the Egyptians to find Israel completely in their power. The Israelites were greatly terrified. But the Lord commanded Moses to bid them go forward, and to lift up the rod and stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it. He did so, and lo, the sea parted, and the children of Israel passed over dry shod. Pharaoh had so long withstood God, and hardened his heart against His mighty, wondrous works, that he in blindness rushed into the path which God had miraculously prepared for His people. Again Moses was commanded to stretch forth his hand over the sea, “and the sea returned to his strength,” and the waters covered the Egyptian host, and they were drowned. 1T 265.1

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