Day 17  Exodus 14 ... Second Thoughts

It didn’t take long for Pharaoh and the Egyptians to second-guess their decision to release the slaves.  Soon a glittering army of chariots and horsemen was charging after the defenseless Israelites.

Nor did it take long for the Israelites to second-guess their decision to leave.  At the first sight of Pharaoh’s army, they quaked in fear and accused Moses of leading them to certain destruction in the desert.

As this chapter tells it, the Israelites’ final confrontation with Egypt was divinely stage-managed to make a point for all time: God himself, no one else, was responsible for the Israelites liberation.  More than anything else, the account of the Exodus underscores that one indisputable fact.  No Israelite armies stood against the mighty Egyptians.  At the last possible minute, God arranged a spectacular rescue operation, and an equally spectacular defeat of the Egyptian army.  The freed captives could only respond with humility and praise; there was no room for pride.  For them, independence from Egypt meant dependence on God.

That pattern of depending on God would continue all through the Exodus.  When the wilderness wanderers ran out of water, God provided.  When food supplies failed, God provided.  When raiders attacked, God provided.  In fact, the book of Exodus shows a great proportion of miracles-direct supernatural acts of God-than any part of the Bible except the Gospels.  The psalmists would never tire of celebrating these events in music, and the prophets would later hark back to the days of the Exodus to stir the conscience of their nation.  The great miracle of the Red Sea merely set the tone for a national history that was from beginning to end an active movement of God.

Point to Ponder: Read through the song commemorating this event - chapter 15: 1-18.  It offers a good model for praising and thanking God when he answers a desperate prayer.