INSISTENT PURSUIT

Recall for a moment how Israel ended in Egypt.  Joseph had been sold into slavery to some Egyptians by his brothers.  God, in a miraculous way, saw to his safety and ultimately to his ascendency toward Pharaoh!  A famine in his homeland brought about his brothers visit, which led his family there.   Under a subsequent Pharaoh, the Egyptians made slaves of the Israelites and unbearable circumstances followed.

God raised up Moses to lead the Israelites back to their homeland.  After 10 plagues hit the Egyptians their desire was: “Get rid of those Israelites!”  Some things, being a little harder than others, saw the Egyptians, after changing their minds time after time, until the 10th plague brought death to most Egyptian households.  This particular plague, the death of the oldest son in the family, saw them even assisting the Israelites to go back to Israel.

While there is debate as to exactly where on the Red Sea the Israelites crossed, it is obvious that God intervened, dried it up, and mountainous walls of water formed to allow Israel to cross and then returned and destroyed the Egyptian army who was intent on bringing them back to Egypt.

Exodus 14 records this particular portion of the story as it unfolded.  God had spoken to Moses, giving him the confidence he needed.  He, God, said: “For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’”  ‘Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh, and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.’ And they did so.” (Exodus 14:3, 4)

Someone said: “Old enemies pursue.  You don’t step right to the Throne of God.  Old sin/habits assert themselves.”  The Israelites had simple instructions, which they would battle for forty years pursued by the element of pride.  You cannot find a greater sin.  It affects every avenue of every day of our earthly journey.  It is the type of sin that begets other sin. In particular we are drawn into fear.  NOW, it is time to pray… “the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.” V12   We sure know how to pray “when the chips are down!”  And then to have Moses come up with his classic instructions:  “Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today you will never see them again forever.  The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”(Exodus 14:13, 14)

How often God has challenged my heart.  Stand still; do not fear.  God will work!  As hard as it is, Ted, keep silent!

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