Lord, when the enemy closes in on me, show me how effectively You have surrounded me with protection.
Read Exodus 14:1–18
Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm” (13). Do you need to hear those words today?
It’s not surprising that panic has set in! Israel is effectively on a dead-end road now, probably having swung south instead of continuing east. They have desert around them, the region of salt marshes (the meaning of Pi Hahiroth) in front of them, and Pharaoh’s army approaching fast from the rear. Odds are that Pharaoh realized what a difference to the economy the loss of these slaves would be! James D. Newsome explains that the armies of the Pharaohs happen to be among the most skilled in the ancient world in using chariots, the latest military technology for speed and power (Exodus, 51).
In one of the earlier plagues, locusts were driven into the Red Sea—every last one of them (Exod. 10:19). Now God intends to deliver his people—and bring glory to his name—in a similar way: drowning. Not locusts this time but chariots and their drivers. We have a contest in this passage, a contest which centers around ownership: “Who has the right to claim ownership of Israel—the enslaving, genocidal king who had long been their master, or their divine Lord who has come to Egypt to claim, redeem, and deliver them?” (J. Alec Motyer, The Message of Exodus, 160). Christians have been redeemed from slavery and sin, and the satanic ruler from whom we have been delivered isn’t about to let us go, either. As we are so often reminded in daily life, we too are in a struggle against repossession and need to resist the “roaring lion” (Motyer, 160; 1 Pet. 5:8,9).
If we are in Christ, then he is our rightful owner now, and no one can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:27–30). Furthermore, he has planned and will ultimately achieve the final destruction of our enemy. Meanwhile, day by day, we constantly need to resist the seductive voice of our former slave master by reminding him Whose we are now and commanding him to go away—in the name of Jesus, of course!
In most instances, the value of something is directly proportional to its cost. If our souls cost God his son, how valuable must we be?
Thank You, Lord, that You will not allow Satan to snatch us back. As You showed Your power to Pharaoh, so one day Satan will be destroyed forever.
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