I was reading my Bible today and came upon one of my favorite stories – the story of the Israelite’s Exodus from Egypt. Having made a major personal exodus in the past year, the verses have special significance to me as I read this time around. Below is the story followed by the commentary provided in The Life With God Bible. May your faith be provoked as mine was.
Exodus 14:10-22 – “As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
The Life With God Bible Commentary:
“It is in our nature to make plans. There is nothing wrong with that. Moses planned to lead Israel out of Egypt to Canaan. Paul planned to take the gospel to Spain. The only thing that we must not do is make out plans our god. We must hold them lightly in our grasp, for we do not know if everything will work out as we expect. Our choice is either to trust our plans with all our hear or trust our God. Not only do the best laid plans of mice and men often fall to pieces, as Robert Burns knew, but often enough God prompts us to act without any plans in place and no guarantee that everything will come together as it should. Are we free enough to act without plans if the need arises? No one knew what God was going to do to rescue the Hebrews from pursuit by the Egyptians. They could only trust that he was going to do something. Like us, they did not do very well when they saw that nothing had been prepared in advance – there was no bridge, there were no boats, only water in front and chariots and iron behind. Suppose they had known beforehand that God was planning to guide them toward an uncrossable body of water? Suppose they had insisted that, before they left Egypt, scouts sent in advance report back that the route was clear, the Red Sea parted and waiting? They would have remained slaves. The water was only parted once they had acted in faith and followed God. They could not count on any plans because God gave them none. He only gave them himself. God was the plan.” (Emphasis added.)