Between a rock and a hard place!
Scripture Reading for January 23: Exodus 13-15
Have you ever followed the Lord’s direction and gotten into more trouble than you bargained for? Moses had obeyed the Lord and witnessed the 10 plagues that humbled Pharaoh and judged the people of Egypt and their gods. He and Israel had experienced God’s protection and blessing throughout this time, even though they were slaves and had cruel taskmasters. The final plague had comvinced Pharaoh to send the Israelites away. The Egyptians had given them many items of silver and gold and they went away rich! God healed their bodies and there was not one feeble or sick person in the company of over one million people! The lamb that they had eaten and the blood over their doors had brought them amazing deliverance and blessing! They left Egypt following the cloud of God’s presence by day and a pillar of fire by night! But, trouble was lurking not far behind them and would soon put them between the proverbial “rock and hard place”!
The Egyptians came to their senses and Pharaoh decided to bring them back. He ordered all his army into mobilization and hot pursuit! The chariots were fueled and the chase was on! The Israelites, under the direction of the Cloud and Fire of God’s Presence, were camped in the desert by the Red Sea. They looked up and saw the army of Egypt bearing down on them and “cried out to the Lord”. (Exodus 14:10-13) They then began the “blame game” on Moses, saying that they should have stayed in Egypt. They blamed God for bringing them out in the desert to die! What had started out so good with such joy and blessing now looked like trouble–or death!
But God fought for them! If God is for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31) The God of the pillar of cloud and fire can do anything! When you are following His instructions, the journey may get wild and even scary at times, but you will enjoy the ending! Moses had the instructions from the Lord and held out his staff over the waters. The waters were parted and the Israelites walked over on dry ground between two walls of water. As soon as the Egyptians were between the walls of water, their wheels started to come off and the Lord fought against them. Moses held out his staff again and the Egyptians were all drowned in the surging sea!
The lessons for us are plain! Follow God closely and trust Him no matter what obstacles you face. When you find yourself between a “rock and a hard place”, look to the cloud and the fire to direct the way! Stand still and see the salvation of God! (Exodus 14:13)