Today’s Reading: Exodus 13:1-15:27
There are times in our lives when we have to make choices. As I sit here thinking about it I realize that there are many choices we make where we see only two options. Coffee or tea? Early riser or night person? Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox? Democrat or Republican? Fight or Flight? McDonalds or Burger Kings? Country or Western ?
Unfortunately, when the things are the darkest we often only see two choices and the two choices are not good choices. Like grim and grimmer. Would you like a poke in the eye or a kick in the shin?
Today’s reading comes immediately after the magnificent exodus from Egypt. Not only did the Egyptians let the Israelites leave, but they left with all their possessions and the riches of Egypt. God had taken care of them as he promised and they were starting their journey to the promised land of Canaan. They even had a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them – the presence of the Lord himself!
Exodus 13:21 – 22 NLT
21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.
So at this point, God has preformed miracles and plagues and has led the Israelites out of their 430 years in Egypt. They are no longer slaves and they are being guided by the presence of the Lord himself to the promised land. What could go wrong?
Well, I suppose what could go wrong is that Pharaoh could change his mind again and send his army after the escaping Israelites. So, he does. The Israelites panic, lose heart and confidence and begin a pattern of complaining to Moses…
Exodus 14:10 – 12 NLT
10 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!’”
Aren’t we sometimes like that, we have God taking care of everything we need – then a bit of trouble comes our way and the only thing we can see is slavery or death? Why can’t we see the presence of the Lord leading us? Why to do see the worse when we should be expecting the best?
Moses has the answer, I suppose he should as God’s chosen leader:
Exodus 14:14 –14 NLT
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.”
Just stay calm – just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today!