Most of us go to church for a variety of different reasons. Typically we base it on how well we relate to the Pastor‘s message, how vibrant the Praise & Worship might be. Other times we base our decision on influence, such as family and friends. Whatever the reason, there is something drawing us.
Having been raised a preacher’s daughter I know the logistics of church and people well. I have seen many red lines drawn as well as miraculous works of God. I know from experience, what moves the Pastor to preach is that there will be something said you can build on during the week. It is with this idea in mind that I write this blog today.
At our church, we are going through the names of God on Sunday evenings. Last night while preaching about the name Jehovah-Rophe, it was mentioned off hand (you know those rabbits that get chased at times) that God had knocked off the wheels of the chariot of the Egyptians while they were in hot pursuit of the Israelites.
Did you know that? I didn’t, even though I have read this passage numerous times. After given the scripture for that statement, everyone in church was scrambling in their bibles to see if indeed that were a true statement. Sure enough there it was in just one small verse.
And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians
And took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
Interestingly, this was what I brought home from church from all that was said. Don’t get me wrong the message was great. This thought however has stuck with me. It turns over and over in my mind like a revolving door.
In my personal life I too, have Egyptians following me. I too, have a red sea to cross. I too, have doubts at times about God rescuing me. If we are entirely honest we all do.
What struck me in the few verses was that God was looking at them through the pillar of fire and the cloud. While the Israelites were busy crossing the Red Sea, God’s in the background troubling the Egyptians. In some ways this is hysterically funny to me. I can imagine the adrenaline rush of being in wide open pursuit of their enemy, the arrogance of preconceived victory in their smirk when all of a sudden in unexpected shock; their wheels were knocked smooth off. I would imagine confusion turned to shock and the shock turned to outright fear. Think about it for a minute, one second your flying at breakneck speed and the next you come to a crashing halt. Right in the middle of a sea that’s not supposed to have a part. You are watching your enemy move farther and farther away. Then, cold reality sets in and instinctively you know you have to get out of there fast. Meanwhile God is behind you flicking off your ranks one by one.
You would think that after all the Egyptians had seen God do they would have refused to go anywhere near an Israelite. Would you? Seriously? I wouldn’t. I would have gone AWOL in a hurry. But, this is the relentless pursuit of our enemy. They have calculated cruelty in each step. Revenge and reckoning all rolled up in one. They had a bone to pick with Israel. Just as your enemy has a bone to pick with you.
Israel had caused them tremendous grief. If it wasn’t for blood to drink and fleas, flies and frogs, the Israelites had cleaned out their gold and all with Egyptian blessing. Then on top of all of that, everything firstborn among them had mysteriously died in the night. Not only was revenge in every step, sorrow clogged their heart with pain. Only one thing would avenge this grief, death to all of Israel.
How often have we been in Red Sea places, running for our very lives and boom, the enemy is gone. Not as in gone quite but literally gone. I’ve had a few experiences of this in my own life as I’m sure you have as well.
What I hope we take from the lessons here is that God faithfully watches over us. No, there is not a pillar of fire or a cloud to stand between the enemy and ourselves. We do have something far greater and that is Jesus and the blood He shed for us on the Cross. While these Israelites had protection from without, as believers of Jesus, we have protection within.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any men have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Understand that your enemy will be coming for you. He will pursue you relentlessly. You will have to decide if you are going to trust God enough to turn your back on the enemy and walk through the midst of the sea.
You must understand that as God’s son or daughter you have the Spirit of Almighty God in you. Therefore, while this enemy can pursue you, he will not overtake you.
God loved the nation of Israel and still does. He loves us as the grafted in vine just the same. The enemy may be coming for you. His sights dead set on you, but God is behind you flicking them off one by one. Soon He will allow the red sea to swallow them whole. You must endure by faith. You must believe that God is able to deliver you.
As I start this new week this is going to be in my mind. Each time the enemy tries to pursue me; my mind envisions God up there flicking them off one by one. My step will be lighter, my joy sweeter, before you know it I will be walking on the Red Sea of victory!
I’m hid with Christ!