The Gospel in Exodus: The Salvation of the Lord

Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exo 14:13). These were the words of Moses to the people of Israel trembling on the banks of the Red Sea as Egyptian chariots raced toward them. The unarmed Israelites were convinced that death was moments away. And it was – but not their death. “The salvation of the LORD” would be displayed in both the parting and crashing waters of the sea. The Israelites walked through on dry ground while the mighty army of Pharaoh drove its chariots and horsemen into a watery grave.

It is a story we love to read, for it exposes the pathetic weakness of the world’s greatest power when pitted against Almighty God. Nothing can compare to “the salvation of the LORD.” But there is a greater salvation available, a salvation you desperately need if you have never personally trusted the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, note that God can save us from a worse slavery. When the people of Israel left Egypt, they left terrible bondage behind. The Egyptians “ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service” (Exo 1:13-14). God broke the chains that enslaved His people and led them into freedom. Jesus described us as slaves in John 8:34: “Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” This bondage is far worse, with more dreadful consequences than the slavery experienced by Israel, for sin brings death – physical, spiritual and eternal (Rom 6:23). But the Lord Jesus, God’s Son, can set us free: “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (Joh 8:36).

Second, know that God can save us from a greater enemy. As powerful as Pharaoh was, we have an enemy with even greater power. Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (Joh 12:31), with an exceeding vast army (Eph 6:12). The Bible says, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1Pe 5:8). Satan wants to destroy us and for us to remain under bondage to sin. But even the devil is no match for Almighty God (read Rev 20). Christ’s work on the cross defeated him, and all who trust Christ for salvation are delivered from the enemy’s grasp.

Third, God can save us for a better place. Once the Israelites safely crossed the Red Sea, their ultimate destination was “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exo 3:8), promised to them by the Lord who brought them out. But there is a better place. Heaven, a place promised to all who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus (Joh 14:2; 1Th 4:16-17), is filled with joy and devoid of sadness, sorrow and sin.

Finally, God can save us for a longer time. Freedom belonged to Israel for a relatively brief period of time. Other nations would invade their land and conquer them. But all who trust in Christ are saved forever and enjoy everlasting life: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (Joh 3:36). What Israel experienced physically you can experience spiritually. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ and you will “see the salvation of the LORD.”