Focal Passage: Exodus 14:13-28
It is all too easy to read the parting of the Red Sea and see only pillars of cloud and fire, Moses’ staff of miracles, the Israelites’ crossing on dry ground and walls of water crashing down upon Pharaoh’s army. In fact, the story is so familiar to us that, more often than not, our focus on the what and the how diverts our attention from the who.
Consider v. 24, “At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.”
First, the language connotes battle. “At the morning watch” God looked down.
Second, He looks down through the pillar of fire and cloud. God is the one standing in the gap between Pharaoh and His children. God is the one engaging the enemy in battle for His glory and their salvation.
The victory belongs to the Lord, and it is a victory so powerful that it produces faith in the hearts of the Israelites, faith in Him and in the one He sent to deliver them.
The story reminds me of a scene from the well-known books by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
The unlikely group of heroes, on the run from Orcs and a Balrog of the underworld, hurry across the bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf, their guide and protector, turns to face the fiery dragon. The wizard strikes his staff upon the ground as he cries out, “You shall not pass!”
Because Gandalf was willing to stand in the gap, his friends escape the enemy and resume their quest.
First Corinthians 15:57 says, “… thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” On the cross, Christ the God-man engaged the enemy in battle on our behalf. He defeated sin once and for all, and He stood in the gap between us and God’s righteous judgment.
By grace through faith in Him, we enjoy God’s presence, and we achieve victory over daily sin.
Therefore, let us walk in joyful obedience to His commands and give Him the praise that is due Him.