< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Red Sea Rules - Part 3

Monday, June 28, 2010

Red Sea Rules - Part 3

Rule #3 Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.

Exodus 14:5-9 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!" 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horsemen [a] and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.

The Exodus story is also a story of what Jesus did for us. He brought us out of captivity. He freed us from our sins. But, like Pharaoh, Satan has not forgotten us and wants to capture and re-enslave us. In Ephesians 6:11 Paul warns us against the “wiles” of the devil. Pharaoh lost a lot of people that were working for him for free! And he was angry!

Satan is also angry. Pharaoh gathered up all his soldiers and pursued them. If you’ve ever felt like Satan was after you – what we learn from this passage is –“Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.”

Neither Pharaoh nor Satan realize how defeated they already are.

The Bible likens Satan to 5 different animals. In Genesis 3, he’s a serpent trying to deceive God’s people; in Matthew 13, a bird trying to spoil God’s harvest. In John 10 Jesus calls him a wolf, attacking God’s flock. In 1 Peter 5 he’s a lion trying to devour God’s children and in Revelation 12 he’s a dragon wanting to destroy God’s Son.

But Jesus said in John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

The blood of Jesus Christ forgives our sins and resolves our guilt. His resurrection frees us from the fear of death and it satisfies our need for eternal significance. The presence of the Lord surrounds us and the promises of the Bible sustain us.

But Satan’s still going to try to get us back. He’s going to try to discourage us. He may use old friends. He may show us a hypocrite in the church; send us a temptation right to our weak spot. He may trap us in a difficulty or corner us in impossible situations. The author says, “Acknowledge his activity, but don’t be intimidated by him. You can resist him in the power of God and by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Latch on to one of these verses:

Daniel 11:32 "With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."

James 4:7-8 "7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

1 Peter 5:9 "Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

We can rebuff the enemy in the name of Jesus. We can claim the victory of faith when we shake off discouragement in the name of our Lord. When we do that, the author says that Satan falls from heaven faster then lightening and is drowned in the Red Sea of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Every time we resist the slightest temptation we honor God!!!

Every time we overcome even the slightest problem by trusting and obeying Jesus, God is glorified!

When we choose character over convenience, faithfulness over ease, honesty over deceit, we bring honor to the Lord.

Satan’s work against God and His church is mentioned often in the Bible:

Acts 13:10/Acts 26:18/ 2 Timothy 2:26/ Ephesians 4:26-27/ Colossians 1:13-14/2 Corinthians 12:7/1 Thessalonians 2:18 to name just a few!

Paul warns us in Ephesians 6:12 that, “Our fight is not against any physical enemy. It is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen powers that control the dark world and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil.” How do we respond?

We draw near to Christ and keep ourselves under His protection of grace.

Pharaoh could chase and threaten and terrify, but he was powerless to actually harm the Israelites as long as they remained under the protective cloud of God’s glory and grace.

If you’ve ever been walking and had a dog come out of nowhere barking and angry at you, only to have him be stopped by an electric fence – the author says that’s what Satan is like to a Christian. He can bark and growl, lunge and threaten, but when we are enclosed by the grace of Jesus we’ll see in tomorrow’s post what we need to do!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home