READ : Exodus 14:1-33
The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. (v. 13 NIV)
God’s command (v. 2) to turn back toward Egypt must have been such a shock to the people, especially when they found themselves right in the jaws of a trap (v. 9). But God planned the neatest reversal possible. It was not Israel that was in the trap but the pursuing Egyptians. The Lord is always working purposefully and for his people’s blessing—maybe especially when we think it is just the opposite. Remember Isaiah 55:8!
This time the purpose was the full and final overthrow of the already beaten Egyptians. When the trap was set and baited with the tasty morsel of Israel, the enemy rushed to his own doom and ended up dead. Israel’s salvation from Egypt was final and finished (v. 30).
If they had not obeyed the command to retreat and suffered the terrors of seeming entrapment, there would have been no final victory. But in the midst of their terror (v. 10), when they thought their God had abandoned them to the enemy (vv. 11-12), Israel was totally safe, divinely guarded (vv. 19-20).
Truly he is always working purposefully for our good; and certainly he never leaves or forsakes us. And who is this “angel of the Lord” (v. 19)? An Old Testament preview of Jesus!
Thank you, Jesus, that “no one can snatch us out of your hand.” (John 10:28)