Life beyond the wilderness
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night, the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side so neither went near the other all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak, the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen — the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
This series of devotions is titled life beyond the wilderness. Some of us may be in a wilderness already. Some of us are lost in the wilderness and perhaps there are others who do not know it yet but are about to enter the wilderness of life soon.
What is so important in the Exodus account is to recognize that the Lord demonstrated his incredible patience with his people’s lack of faith, his great faithfulness to his promise to deliver them, and his awesome mighty power! The Israelites had one mission in this venture — keep moving forward. Moving their legs and walking through the sea on dry ground was their demonstration of faith. It wasn’t much, but that’s all God required of them. He did all the rest. He fought for them and gave them victory over the Egyptian army.
God does the same for you and me. He asks us to trust him. He demonstrated his faithfulness and his power on the cross. He didn’t just split the sea he died for you. It may feel like the walls of water may be towering 200 feet above you as it was with the Israelites, but the Lord will keep your feet on dry ground.
It’s so critically important that we get this truth right. Trust in the Lord. It will keep you from the temptation to turn back and reenter captivity — captivity to the devil’s lies and temptations.
By Chaplain (Lt. Col.)
Scott Koeman TACOM Chaplain