February 19 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of February 19, 2017

Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from Exodus 13:17-14:31, “The First Splash Brother.” With the Oroville Dam spillway damage in the recent news, the power of water is amazing to consider. When we see what God had done for the Israelites to leave Egypt, it is obviously only by the hand of God. God redeems His people from slavery to the Promised Land. Moses is the key figure who is in direct communication with God and promises to lead the people out of Egypt, but it is God who is leading. How do we consider God’s perspective in our lives?

God’s Path (vv.13:17-21) Looking at a map, you can see Moses and the Israelites did not take the shortest route as they avoided the Egyptian outposts and the Philistine nation. They took a more southerly route which was not the easiest way.
Moses was trained in Pharaoh’s court and likely knew about martial array, which likely did not mean armed or trained, but used military organization for the estimated 2+ million people. Acts 7:22 states, “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.” Moses organized the march, and established groups and their leaders. They took the bones of Joseph – to be buried in the Promised Land, which was the Abrahamic promise of the land. It was the symbol of the promise of God. Fire is seen as a red glow in the night, but the same fire is seen as smoke in the daytime. Likewise, it was the same God who led Israel, but seen differently. We tend to take the path of least resistance and fail to recognize that trials, troubles and hardship are part of being a Christian for us to learn something about God.

God’s Math (vv.14:1-18) Turn back, camp… by the sea. Israel came to the sea then camped, while Pharaoh thinks they are trapped and confused in the wilderness. To each of their sides is the desert, sea, marshland or the most powerful Egyptian army. But as God says in verse 4, glory and honor will be to God. Egypt suffered the loss of their firstborn dead and they were devastated by plagues, the Israelites are let go, but then there is a change of heart. 5 “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” The impact of the loss of the economic benefit of their slave labor changed their thoughts about letting Israel go and they set out to bring them back. 600 of Pharaoh’s best chariots with drivers and warriors were sent. Israel sees Pharaoh’s army closing in on them and in fear, they cried out to the Lord. Not all of those leaving with Israel were of the faith. They did not understand God’s purpose. As slaves, they were not educated, but lived close to existence, not even knowing where their next meal would come from. When we are faced with overwhelming odds, we review, analyze and decide what we will do, thinking we can handle it. When we do the math, we go out complaining. (vv.13-14) 13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”  Have no fear, stand firm, be silent, see the salvation of the LORD (other versions use be still). God promised – go forward, keep moving. 16 lift up your staff, divide… the sea or ‘form a valley,’ and Israel walked on dry land. 18 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.” 

God’s Wrath (vv.14:19-31) When you see “the angel of God” in the Old Testament, you actually see pre-incarnate Christ.
God went behind Israel. He was light for Israel and darkness for Egypt. For both salvation and judgment, He is the same God.  The waters were like a wall, like a heap. They could have moved to one side but the wind makes a passage wide enough for 2.5 million people plus animals to cross efficiently. The Egyptians could have called it a day and cancel their pursuit. Did they not see God in this? After seeing all God would do for His people, would they not have seen He would continue to do so? It is interesting when it says, “The LORD looked down,” with mercy towards Israel or with wrath toward Egypt. There is panic and disarray of the Egyptian army before a superior force. It is natural and supernatural: the strong wind and obedience to Moses word. God clogged the wheels of the chariots, but the mud and sand were secondary. The entire army was lost, not one remained. There is no doubt they saw the power of God.

Calendar Items:

2/25 10:00am 55+ Brunch with PACE Workshop & Laurie Shigekuni on Elder Care (Gary Yamashita)
2/26 12:15pm Joint Fellowship Hour – Castro Valley is in charge of setup/cleanup (error in bulletin)
2/26 Evening Worship Service is canceled and will resume March 5

3/2-4 B.A.S.S. Convention
3/5 Visitors Day
3/5     both services Missions Moment – JEMS Mt. Hermon Special Camp
3/11    10am-12pm Special Camp Information Meeting
3/14-21 Young Life Homestay Program (Daisuke and Cheryl Ikegami)
3/26  9:00am CE Teacher’s Brunch & Training meeting
3/26   10:45am Missions Moment – Joey and Jasmine Tell (http://www.wheelchairproject.com/the_team/)

4/7  7:11pm B.A.M.
4/8       11am-3pm Church Picnic at the CV Community Center (Vern Hu)
4/9 Palm Sunday
4/16 Easter
4/23   both services Greetings/sharing from David and Sue Verwey (Japan Mission)
4/29     8am – 2pm Love East Bay – Spring Serve (Pastor Eric)
4/29     9am – 1pm Special Camp Aide Training (English sanctuary and kitchen use)

Have a blessed week considering God’s perspective,
Stan , for SLZJCC