I was reading Exodus 14 the other day as part of my Living the Christian Year devotional. What, you don’t immediately know what Exodus 14 is about?? Shocking.
OK, I’m just kidding. I mean, I was reading Exodus 14, and it’s actually a very familiar story, but I didn’t know the goods I was getting into until I turned there and read it. It’s the story of God parting the Red Sea so that the Israelites could fully and completely escape from slavery in Egypt.
This story has so many levels of amazingness to uncover – the BIG story, how it fits into the story of the Bible as a whole; the medium-size story, how it fits into the story of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt; and the story-time story, just the chapter itself. The story-time story is what I’ve been thinking of over the last couple of days.
Seriously, go read the story and then come back here.
OK, so did it strike you that God tells Moses to put the Israelites right smack in the middle of danger? “Hey Moses, tell the Israelites to encamp by the Red Sea, and I’m going to make Pharaoh’s army come after them since it looks like they can’t escape.”
So here’s this whole nation of defenseless people backed into a corner by an attacking army that has “six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them” (v. 7). So basically, it’s the well-trained army of a highly advanced civilization (at the time) vs. a relatively unorganized mass of fleeing slaves.
THEN, God protects the people from the attacking army by putting Himself in between them in the form of a pillar of cloud on the one side (to bring darkness to the enemy camp) and a pillar of fire on the other side (to give light to the fleeing slaves). As in, the army was close enough to the Israelite people that there was only a pillar of cloud and fire separating them. But the pillar is God, so ain’t nothin’ gonna cross it.
(Um, also, can we talk about how terrifying it would be to have a PILLAR OF FIRE right in front of you?? Please imagine experiencing this.)
THEN, God spectacularly and completely delivers the otherwise helpless people by opening up the sea. Now, has this ever struck you as somewhat crazy before? Can you imagine walking through a body of water on dry ground, “with a wall of water on [your] right and on [your] left” (v. 22)?
God’s making sure they’re never going to forget this experience. They pretty quickly get grumbly and whiney out in the desert (that’s a whole other blog post), but they can’t forget or deny the spectacular way God delivered them.
Now, I started thinking about this whole story and what it says about God. I realized something: God’s not always all about giving His people boring lives. If you belong to Him, if you are His, then you’re going to have some adventure. You’re gonna have some awesome stories to tell!! And quite honestly, they’re not going to be about you. They’ll be about the incredibly awesome God to whom you belong!
So, you want to know how to have a life of adventure? Simple! Just listen to God and follow His directions!