Exodus 14:1-4 It’s Not About My Glory

image courtesy of https://ihberkeley.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/the-power-of-humility/
image courtesy of https://ihberkeley.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/the-power-of-humility/

Exodus 14:1   Then the LORD said to Moses,  2 “Tell the people of Israel to tturn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.”And they did so. 

The children or Israel were on an emotional high after God delivered them from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:51).  In their opinion everything was going perfectly; they were heading towards the promised land of Cannan, and any enemies would be defeated by God, so they were sure to make it in record time.

Then Moses called a meeting one morning and gave some frightening commands from God [1].

  1. God wants you to turn around and position yourselves between to cities and the red sea (they would be trapped)
  2. Pharaoh is going to change his mind about letting you go, and come with his army
  3. I will defeat the Egyptians and get glory over them

Basically God is demanding that the Jews put themselves in a place where they cannot defend themselves, or a trap as Pharaoh calls it (Exodus 14:3) and camp there (don’t move till the Lord tells them to).

Today God still leads us into situations where we cannot defend ourselves or “fix the problem” and it’s confusing how situations like this can be part of His plan.

This is why I’m so thankful for Exodus 14:4 that clearly states the reason why God brings us to such a frustrating place…so he can get the glory.

You see the Jewish people were incredibly confident, some would even say arrogant. When the Egyptians finally catch up with them it says that they were “going out defiantly” (ESV). This is another way of saying the Jews were exalted, and lifted up their hands in celebration as they went along the way (were still celebrating God’s victory).

This confidence was probably in the power of God, but the Lord knew it was only a matter of time before it started focusing on their accomplishments instead of His power.

Also the Jews weren’t exhibiting real faith in God, instead their confidence was in the powerful acts that He did in Egypt.

The moment things got bad they did cry out to the Lord for help (Exodus 14:10) but there was no faith God could do it because they immediately told Moses they were going to die (14:11–12).

The Lord knows that our confidence normally lies in our strength and circumstances instead of Him. Bring us into a bad situation, and instead of hands lifted in victory we will have hearts full of fear.

So God puts us in situations where only He can get the glory

  1. Like the moment I completely totalled my car
  2. Or quit my job so that I start raising financial support full time
  3. Or the visa application process

Situations where I couldn’t go out defiantly, but walk with an attitude of humility and gratitude towards the God who won that battle for me.


  1. in those days the Lord spoke directly to men since they didn’t have the Bible  ↩

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