The Israelites were in an impossible situation again. They’d barely finished eating their unleavened Passover bread when Pharaoh changed his mind and decided to reclaim his slaves. A wandering throng of men, women, children, and livestock were now being chased down by the world’s most powerful army.
We know the end of the story: the walls of water let the Israelites escape before crashing down on Pharaoh’s chariots. But before the triumphant ending, I wonder how the Israelites felt.
Exodus 14:19-20 tells us that the pillar that accompanied them on their journey out of Egypt moved between the Israelites and the approaching Egyptians as night fell:
“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.” (Exodus 14:19-20)
The vast sea was ahead of them, but what did they see behind? Was there a giant dust cloud as 600 chariots charged through the desert? Could they hear the hooves of the horses and feel the ground shake under the weight of the giant army? Did they see the army chasing them or the water parting? Or did they spend a terrifying night clutching their children to their chests, crying out to the Lord for a deliverance that seemed impossible?
Some of you know how those endless, dark nights feel. You cry out to the Lord, but you don’t see the waters parting yet. You’re still drowning in fear, grief, uncertainty, difficulty, or worry. Where is God? Why hasn’t He swooped in and saved the day?
I don’t have an easy answer for you, but I know this: God is always at work. One day, the sun will rise, and we’ll see the parted waters of rescue, just as the Israelites saw in Exodus 14:21-22. He will not abandon you, His beloved child.
No matter what you face this week, God is always at work.
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