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Exodus 13-15


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                  
          Thru the Bible in a Year                    
     Life is full of surprises. How can it be possible that even after God has made Himself so clear about what He wants from the Pharaoh (the release of His People Israel) & how horribly expensive all resistance has been, that the Pharaoh nevertheless changes his mind one more time and takes back his permission for the slaves to leave?  This is human pride at its worst.
      But human pride is like that. We insist on our way, and when our way turns out wrong, instead of changing course and starting in a new direction, we lash out at people around us, often those who have warned us in the first place. Somehow it is human nature to blame the messenger for the message.
     Pharaoh is grief-stricken. He is supposed to be a god. No one treats him so terribly and lives to talk about it. After years of being taught this, he cannot live with the idea that a group of slaves led by a master magician can get the best of him (taking even his son).
They must and will be forced to pay!  He doesn't believe in God. He remains unconvinced of anything except the power of magic and the deceit and evil of people like Moses.
      At this point, Pharaoh isn't thinking about all the times he’s broken his word or taken advantage of Moses’ willingness to believe him; he wants to punish someone for his personal loss. It’s his right; it’s his duty; it’s his destiny to do so.
      Human beings always seek someone to blame or punish, or both. It's always the wrong thing to become fixated on (even though both blame and punishment may legitimately be applied at points).
      Moses and the Israelites are trapped at the Red Sea: the army closing in, the water blocking all escape. But God intervenes. He does the only two things which can save the day:  stops the Egyptian army which has rushed out to overtake them, and opens a path in the Red Sea for them to pass through. It’s an amazing story.
     Pharaoh, for all of his power and determination, fails and is destroyed – not only by God’s direct action in closing the pathway through the water and allowing him and his army to drown, but by his own refusal to recognize and yield to the power and priority of the LORD.
      The song at the end of the incident led by Moses and the song of Miriam, Moses and Aaron’s sister, simply confirm the people’s recognition that God is their refuge and their strength. It is instructive that this recognition lasts such a short time.
      Have you forgotten who God is?  Are you following Him or ignoring Him; responding to His directions or refusing to obey?  God doesn’t lead us into disasters, He sees us through them. Therefore, whatever He leads us to do must have a successful conclusion. That doesn’t mean only miracles and good times (even the Israelites faced suffering and fear at points), but it does mean the outcome is predetermined in our favor if we stay with Him.
      Make a commitment today to put your life more willingly in God’s hands. When you see what He wants, say “Yes.”

© A. Eugene Pearson 2011