28. Protection

Left and Right block

The Bible passage describes the children of Israel complaining to Moses because they are trapped by the sea ahead and the Egyptian army in pursuit right behind. I don’t blame them, I would feel the same way. But God, who has been leading them in a cloud by day, moves His angel and Himself to the rear of the camp, in order to hide them from the Egyptians that night. The Egyptians can no longer see ahead, and must be spooked by the cloud which is giving light by night. Was it a constant glow or a lightning storm? I’m sure those Egyptians would have been happy to turn tail, it is so evident that God was on the side of the Israelites. But follow orders they must.

Dawn at the Red Sea has Moses stretching his hand out over the water. Now here’s a moment to consider. Like me, did Moses second-guess himself? Did the thought pass through his mind, even fleetingly, that this could fail? He’d be holding that rod aloft for how long before accepting it as a no-go? Was he secretly attempting to come up with a plan B?

Moses didn’t part the Red Sea, God did. But first God required an action, an act of obedience borne of trust, from a man before performing this miracle. Why does He do that?

The children of Israel also had to take action. They had to move forward and walk into that Red Sea (which was now walls of water to the left and right with dry ground below) in order to receive God’s protection from their enemies. They also had to follow the cloud by day to be led to their promised land.

I recall a quote heard long ago: “God can only direct a moving object”. I disagree, God can do anything He chooses. But I do agree with the intent: we are to walk by faith, not by sight. If we don’t know what to do, at least do something, and God will take care of the rest.

Martin Luther is attributed with this quote that also comes to mind: “If I knew surely the world would end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today”.

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