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10 AM

9-17-23 Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing

David Peterson / General

Faith / Exodus 14:19–31

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: We have faith in God because he has shown himself faithful.


I. When the Israelites saw … (Exodus 14:31)

1. Explanation

a. They saw a revelation of God’s power: deliverance and judgment on the wicked

b. What we have seen

2. Application

3. Illustration

Creation Song which Uncle Andrew missed:

When the great moment came and the Beasts spoke, he missed the whole point, for a rather interesting reason. When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark, he had realized that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel.

Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a Lion (“only a lion,” as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make himself believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing, only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. Of course it can’t really have been singing, he thought, I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?

And the longer and more beautifully the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to.

And when at last the Lion spoke and said, “Narnia awake,” he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl. And when the beasts spoke in answer, he heard only barkings, growlings, bayings, and howlings.

Source: C. S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew (Collier), pp. 125-126

II. The People Feared the Lord (Exodus 14:31)

1. Explanation

2. Application

FOR THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS. CLEMENT OF ROME: Pharaoh and his army and all the leaders of Egypt, “the chariots and their riders,” were drowned in the Red Sea and perished for no other reason than that their foolish hearts were hardened, after the working of signs and wonders in the land of Egypt by God’s servant Moses. LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 51.

Lienhard, J. T., & Rombs, R. J., eds. (2001). Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (p. 77). InterVarsity Press.

3. Illustration

Fear Saves Ski Jumper’s Life

For years, the opening of ABC’s The Wide World of Sports illustrated “the agony of defeat” through the painful ending of an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the slope, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head-over-heels off the side of the jump and bounced off the supporting structure.

What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp he realized that if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe landing zone, which could have been fatal. As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble.

The fear of the slope, the fear of flying too high, and the fear of the fall led him to change course. Fear led to life. The fear of the Lord likewise will turn us from the snares of death.

Source: Jeff Arthurs, “Clearing the Debris,”

How to Live in Fear of God

To live in fear of God means that we live before God and the rest of reality in such a way that there is never contempt within us. We take nothing for granted, everything as a gift. We have respect. We are always poised for surprise before the mystery of God, others, and ourselves.

All boredom and contempt is an infallible sign that we have fallen out of a healthy fear of God.

—Ronald Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas

III. And put their trust in him and in Moses his servant (Exodus 14:31)

1. Explanation

BASIL THE GREAT: But belief in Moses not only does not show our belief in the Spirit to be worthless, but, if we adopt our opponents’ line of argument, it rather weakens our confession in the God of the universe. “The people,” it is written, “believed the Lord and his servant Moses.” Moses then is joined with God, not with the Spirit; and he was a type not of the Spirit but of Christ. ON THE SPIRIT 14.33.

Lienhard, J. T., & Rombs, R. J., eds. (2001). Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (p. 77). InterVarsity Press.

2. Application

3. Illustration

John Stott suggests, “Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection. It was the resurrection which transformed Peter’s fear into courage and James’ doubt into faith. It was the resurrection which changed the Sabbath into Sunday and the Jewish remnant into the Christian Church. It was the resurrection which changed Saul the Pharisee into Paul the apostle and turned his persecuting into preaching.”

Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed., p. 250). Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Beauty does not consist in discord and dissent, but in consent and agreement. And if every intelligent being is some way related to being in general, and is a part of the universal system of existence; and so stands in connexion with the whole; what can its general and true beauty be, but its union and consent with the great whole?

Edwards, J. (1974). The works of Jonathan Edwards (Vol. 1, p. 122). Banner of Truth Trust.



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