Through the Bible Day by Day
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
THE PEOPLE ARE LED OUT AND PURSUED
There were two routes to Canaan, the nearest through the land of the Philistines; but to take that would have exposed the Hebrews to the very sights that so dismayed the twelve spies. See Num_33:1-56. They might have had to fight every mile of advance. This would have been too great an ordeal for their young faith. So God, like the mother eagle, bore them on His wings. The Angel who conducted the march in the cloud chariot, led them about. Thus God deals with us still, tempering the wind to the shorn lamb. Patience and faith are still severely tested by the circuitous and laborious route, but when in the afterwards we understand God’s reasons, we are satisfied. There are many lessons learned on the wilderness route. How often God leads us into what seem to be impossible positions, that in our absolute extremity there may be room for Him to work. All is love. See Psa_136:1-26.
And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
THE MURMURING PEOPLE ENCOURAGED
We cannot wonder at their consternation. Before, the surf of the beach; behind, the serried ranks of Egypt’s chivalry; on either side, impassable cliffs. It seemed a veritable death-trap. But Moses reckoned confidently on the salvation of God. All they had to do, in the first instance, was to stand still and see it. It is hard to stand still when the situation becomes acute. If you don’t know what to do, stand still until you do; it is God’s business to direct and defend the believing soul. Let God do the fighting, Exo_14:14. This Angel, Stephen tells us, was our Lord, Act_7:38. He always puts Himself between us and our strong enemies. Note Exo_14:19. The ordinary man puts circumstances between himself and God, but the consecrated soul inserts God between himself and circumstances. When God says Forward! He will open the path and lead His people, as a shepherd leads His flock, by a way they know not.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
THE EGYPTIANS DESTROYED IN THE SEA
As the front ranks of Israel approached the surf, the billows parted. The very waves they dreaded became a wall. By faith Israel passed through the Red Sea as on dry land. They went through the flood on foot. So shalt thou, oh frightened child of God! Behind thee, the terror of the foe; before thee, the horror of the unknown. But God is with thee. The sheen of the Presence-Cloud shines upon and before thee. Be of good cheer, though thou passest through the waters, thou shalt not be overwhelmed. See Psa_66:6; Psa_78:13; Isa_43:2.
The Egyptians owed their safety at first to the presence of Israel; but it was only for a time. The ungodly owe more to the presence of God’s children than they realize. See Gen_19:22. On which side of God’s cloud are you? In Christ we may stand without fear before the searchlight of God! Compare Exo_14:24 with Heb_4:13 and Rev_6:16.