The Great Deliverer Day 1- Deliverance at the Red Sea
Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night. Then Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharoah’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea . . . and not one of them remained. (Exodus 14:19-28, ESV)
Have you ever been chased, or had the impression that someone was running after you? It’s pretty frightening, and it can steal our breath and make us feel panicky and afraid. Sometimes it’s just a game for fun, but with someone hot on your tail, your pace quickens and, in my case, I let out a not-so-dignified shriek. This brings back memories of being chased down the steps by my siblings—I should have been awarded a world record for the fastest time down a flight of stairs!
But in the case of the Israelites, I cannot imagine how fearful they must have been as Pharaoh and his army charged after them in hot pursuit. When they were finally granted freedom from slavery after Moses went to bat for their nation, they were not long on the trail before they had the enemy at their heels. As God led them away from Egypt, they were filled with fear, with the sea ahead of them and their enemy behind them.
Have you ever felt that way in your own life? I know I have. God has led me along paths that had me questioning Him. How could He bring me into this? How would I ever be saved from whatever enemy I faced? We often assign human error to the hands of a perfect and holy God. I know I’m guilty. I’ve doubted Him in the worst circumstances of my life—even as I called out to Him in desperation.
The Children of Israel were really no different from you and me. They had on several occasions seen the mighty hand of God deliver them from their circumstances, and yet they panicked as they faced the Red Sea. But God didn’t turn away from them because of their fearfulness but simply instructed Moses to reach forth his hand. Then God (not by the strength of Moses) miraculously parted the waters for the people to pass through to the other side. Not only did He make a way for them but He closed the waters over their enemies, drowning every last one.
God isn’t any different today. He still delivers; He still moves in miraculous ways. He is still able to part the waters in your own situation and bring you safely through to the other side. Maybe the pathway doesn’t look like you hoped it would and you are fearful of what is right in front of you. It’s so easy to give in to panic and to doubt that there is a way through. Sometimes God leads us to really hard places, but in them, His desire is that we would learn to trust Him. The trust He longs for us to have in Him won’t be learned on easy pathways; instead, we must stare difficult situations in the face to learn who He really is and increase our faith and trust in our Great Deliverer.
Deliverance is ahead for all of us who believe in Jesus as our Rescuer and Redeemer. Some will see deliverance here on earth. For others, we will find rescue from our greatest trials as we take our last breath, laying our soul in the hands of our Savior. Do you believe He is able to deliver you from whatever burdens your heart today? God continues to increase my faith and trust in Him through the various storms of life. Do you think the Children of Israel would have ever imagined the way God would deliver them—opening up a huge sea and drying up the ground so they could easily pass through? I’m sure that was not what they expected. Don’t lose heart as you look ahead in your own life’s battles. God can still do what seems impossible in ways we may never imagine. As we face lesson after lesson, may we learn that He is a God who compassionately longs to deliver us and that He has the power to do so.