Exodus Devotional | The Red Sea, Day 3: The Victory Is Now and Not Yet
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus The Red Sea, Day 3
“Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” - (Exodus 14:30-31)
NOTE: please read all of Exodus chapter 14 for a full view of the Red Sea narrative and the Lord’s victory!
Four hundred years of slavery. The murder of an entire generation of Hebrew boys. Bricks without straw. Plagues. The Red Sea and the pursuit of a blood-thirsty Egyptian army. God placed his people in the midst of all of them and he brought them and out of each of them. Through a cycle of fear and pain, hope and then doubtful disbelief, and onward to rescue and praise, God has been faithful, powerful, and patient to his people.
Yesterday we needed to meditate on the fact that, once the current storm is over, we’ll go on to face new ones and even revisit old ones. The faces and names change, but the great problem is still the old one: the curse of sin on us and the world around us. The salvation we seek, however, never changes faces or names: it’s the Lord.
Today’s meditation: the victory is now and not-yet.
Whether Egypt is overcome or the Red Sea crossed, the victory has been won and is still being won. The people are going into the desert, and they’ll have to be delivered across it by God. They’ll have to enter and win their Promised Land against tribes and nations more powerful and more numerous. They’ll have to learn how to be God’s nation, not just a tribe. They’ll have to learn how to handle prosperity and power as a kingdom (under David and Solomon). They’ll be conquered and dispersed again.
Each victory and deliverance by the Lord’s hand shows a coming day when there will be no more battles to be fought. So victory is here and it’s still on the way. There are some religious people who claim that the fullness of God’s blessings and provisions can be gotten here and now--you just have to claim it and believe hard enough. The only problem with that claim is what the Bible says repeatedly. The day when all tears are dried and death is defeated, sin is eradicated, and Satan is utterly decimated...that day is a future day.
However, by God’s grace, there is victory to be experienced now. The Israelites keep experiencing it...and as God reintroduces his people to the next problem and the next battle, each victory is just a foreshadow of the more glorious and eternal victory. On the cross two thousand years ago, Jesus won the decisive victory over the curse, sin, death, and Satan. We’re seeing the breakout victories of that supreme victory in our world. So, we have victory now...and not yet.
In C.S. Lewis’ novel, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the faithful, believing servants of Aslan the King whisper to one another with hope: Aslan is on the move. Friends, Jesus is on the move. After COVID and the financial crisis are in our rearview mirror, more trials will come--they’re just hidden from our view at the moment, like the Red Sea was hidden as the Israelites joyfully marched out of Egypt. But our God is on the move--and we have his victory now, and we have his greater, eternal victory to look forward to!
I’d like you to read Revelation 19-21. That might look like a lot, but as you see the victory to come (the one that has been guaranteed!) play out before your eyes, I believe the Bible will come pouring out to you and you won’t care about the clock. Just as the Israelites march off in the glow of each God-secured victory, they march off to the next unseen challenge...and they march with God. He’s leading them and us toward Revelation 19-21.
Pray and ask the Lord to give you an eternity-minded perspective today. One that sees the true pain and danger of COVID-19 and all that comes with it--but one that sees the glory of God on its way in our days and the glory of God that will be final and eternal.
Each week, we’ll gather for online services together--do you know what grand and meaningful part you can play, even if you’re at home, worshipping online? You have friends and family who don’t have any clue as to what God has done and what he’s bringing about. Get in touch with them today: invite them and give them whatever they need so they can join us as we hear from him in Exodus this week! Your invitation extended may very well be what leads to them getting to enjoy the Lord’s victory with us.