Worship Service 24 September 2017
Audio
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and Laverne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
September 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Exodus 14:19-31
Subject
Baptism-A Life and Death Matter
Description

Scripture

    Exodus 14:19-31;

    Psalm 114:1-8;

    Romans 14:1-12;

    Matthew 18:1-12

Exodus 14:19-31

19 The angel of God had been traveling in front of Israel’s army. Now he moved back and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved away from in front of them. Now it stood behind them. 20 It came between the armies of Egypt and Israel. All through the night the cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other. Neither army went near the other all night long.

21 Then Moses reached out his hand over the Red Sea. All that night the Lord pushed the sea back with a strong east wind. He turned the sea into dry land. The waters were divided. 22 The people of Israel went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left.

23 The Egyptians chased them. All Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 Near the end of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud. He saw the Egyptian army and threw it into a panic. 25 He jammed the wheels of their chariots. That made the chariots hard to drive. The Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for Israel against Egypt.”

26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Reach out your hand over the sea. The waters will flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses reached out his hand over the sea. At sunrise the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians tried to run away from the sea. But the Lord swept them into it. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen. It covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the people of Israel into the sea. Not one of the Egyptians was left.

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left. 30 That day the Lordsaved Israel from the power of Egypt. The Israelites saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 The Israelites saw the amazing power the Lord showed against the Egyptians. So the Israelites had great respect for the Lord and put their trust in him. They also put their trust in his servant Moses.

Psalm 114

The people of Israel came out of Egypt.
    The people of Jacob left a land where a different language was spoken.
Then Judah became the holy place where God lived.
    Israel became the land he ruled over.

The Red Sea saw him and parted.
    The Jordan River stopped flowing.
The mountains leaped like rams.
    The hills skipped like lambs.

Red Sea, why did you part?
    Jordan River, why did you stop flowing?
Why did you mountains leap like rams?
    Why did you hills skip like lambs?

Earth, tremble with fear when the Lord comes.
    Tremble when the God of Jacob is near.
He turned the rock into a pool.
    He turned the hard rock into springs of water.

Romans 14:1-12

The Weak and the Strong

14 Accept the person whose faith is weak. Don’t argue with them where you have differences of opinion. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything. But another person eats only vegetables because their faith is weak. The person who eats everything must not look down on the one who does not. And the one who doesn’t eat everything must not judge the person who does. That’s because God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. And they will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful.

One person considers one day to be more holy than another. Another person thinks all days are the same. Each of them should be absolutely sure in their own mind. Whoever thinks that one day is special does so to honor the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. And whoever doesn’t eat meat does so to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God. We don’t live for ourselves only. And we don’t die for ourselves only. If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you act like you’re better than they are? We will all stand in God’s courtroom to be judged. 11 It is written,

“ ‘You can be sure that I live,’ says the Lord.
‘And you can be just as sure that everyone will kneel down in front of me.
    Every tongue will have to tell the truth about God.’ ” (Isaiah 45:23)

12 So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done.

Matthew 18:1-12

Who Is the Most Important Person in the Kingdom?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus. They asked him, “Then who is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven?”

Jesus called a little child over to him. He had the child stand among them. Jesus said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don’t, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who takes the humble position of this child is the most important in the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this one in my name welcomes me.

Do Not Cause People to Sin

“What if someone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If they do, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and be drowned at the bottom of the sea. How terrible it will be for the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Things like that must come. But how terrible for the person who causes them! If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It would be better to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one hand than go into hell with two hands. It would be better to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one foot than go into hell with two feet. In hell the fire burns forever. If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It would be better to enter the kingdom of heaven with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The Story of the Wandering Sheep

10-11 “See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones. Here is what I tell you. Their angels in heaven are always with my Father who is in heaven.

12 “What do you think? Suppose a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. Won’t he leave the 99 sheep on the hills? Won’t he go and look for the one that wandered off?

Pastor's Summary of Exodus 14:19-31

After suffering from plagues sent by God, the Pharaoh has allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt. While the direct route to Canaan is along the coast of the Red Sea, God has led them toward the Sea of Reeds (13:17-18), out of concern that they may abort their mission if beset by enemies. Finding the Egyptian frontier forts too strong, they have turned back at God's behest. He has fooled the Egyptians into thinking that the Israelites were trapped, and then pursuing them. His plan will show Israel's God to be victor over Egypt and her gods.

The Pharaoh has had his chariots prepared for battle (14:6). the appearance of the Egyptian army has struck fear in the Israelites-they have complained (14:11, for the first of many times in the Exodus sage) about Moses' leadership (and God's): they prefer slavery to certain death. But Moses has calmed his people, by assuring them of rescue=with God fighting with them-if they do not panic. God has commanded Moses to divide the sea.

The "pillar of fire and cloud" (v. 24) may have their origins as markers carried at the head of an army or caravan, but from this event on they become symbols of God's presence. The "angel of God" (v. 19) comes between the Israelities and the Egyptians protecting God's people and confusing the Egyptians, as does the "pillar of cloud".

The Sea of Reeds ("the sea",m v. 21) is shallow and surrounded with marshy land. God uses a natural phenomenon to achieve his purpose: east winds strong enough to blow away the water do occur. The battle turns when the Egyptians chariots bog down in the soft earth (v. 25). The story was handed down orally from one generation to the next; that "the waters" (vv. 22, 29) form a "wall" suggest that it grew in the telling. Vv. 30-31 are probably a later editorial comment: God saves; subjugation to the Egyptians is over; the Israelites have seen the marvel which God has done for them, so they hold him in awe and trust in him. We do not know precisely what happened at the Sea of Reeds, but we see the result: God sets his people on his way, led by Moses.