“God makes a way where there is no way”
Exodus 14:19-31, “God makes a way where there is no way”
Today’s scripture is a well-known story in the Bible, the story of dividing the water in the sea to make a way for God’s people, Israelites. We will look at how this event can apply to our Christian lives.
Before reading this story which really happened in history, in terms of thinking about its application for us, we are to know that Egypt is a type/symbol of the world, Israelites are a type of God’s people being rescued from the slavery of the world being in sin. Pharaoh and the Egyptians who chased after Israelites are satan and its evil forces.
With this frame of understanding, let us look at our text today. We all know that God rescued Israelites from the slavery of Egyptians. God sent Moses to Pharaoh to let His people go, but Pharaoh and his people would not let them go but tenaciously hold their grip on the Israelites. God sent disastrous plagues on Egyptians and with God’s mighty hands, Israelites finally were able to escape from Egypt, from the hands of Pharaoh and Egyptians. But the story did not end there, as we know it. As soon as Pharaoh realized the tremendous economic loss caused by letting go of Israelites, their slaves, he and his Egyptian army chased after Israelites to put a stop to their leaving. Our text starts from there.
When Pharaoh and the Egyptian army chased after Israelites, vs. 19 in our text says that “the angel of God who was going before the Israelite moved and went behind them”, along with the pillar of the cloud that was in front of them. From this, we can learn a couple of things.
First, the satan does not leave God’s people alone to escape the world but right behind chasing to capture them back to the world. A drug addict, a pastor’s son, who had wasted his successful career as an accomplished pianist, who had wasted his life struggling to get out of drug so many times but failed, having no friends no family ties away from home, was rescued by his family at his death bed from drug addiction, and finally had a change in his heart for God and left the drug world. He became a music minister using his God-given talent with piano; he seemed to be doing well surrounded by his Christian supporters and friends for a while. One day, when he was alone at the train station in New York with the intention of visiting his brother in Long Island, he noticed a guy approaching him. As this guy was getting closer he knew it instantly that this guy was a drug dealer. He also knew that he had no strength to resist the temptation. He did not know what to do; his brain went blank; he began to tremble all over and tears were flowing down on his face non-stop, hating to go back to the drug world yet not finding the strength to resist. He was kept weeping silently and when the drug dealer offered him a drug, he found himself, however, giving $50.00 to him and telling him to buy some food to eat. Without planning on doing, he found himself doing that. He said he knew that that drug dealer was selling drugs to get some drug for himself, and he could tell that the drug dealer did not eat for days as he used to when he was on the drug, selling drugs to get himself some drug. After that moment, he realized that God had delivered him from drug addiction for good. What had happened? At that helpless moment, while he was crying helplessly, God heard his silent crying and sent an angel to help him.
This leads to the second point. When we are on the journey to the promised land, when satan and satan’s followers are trying to catch us back, God sent his angels to protect us. In other words, where God’s presence is, symbolized by pillars of cloud and fire, the angel of God is with us leading our way to the promised land and protecting us when the enemy attacks us to bring back to the world we have escaped. As long as we have the sure purpose of going to the promised land having the world behind us, as long as our direction is set toward the promised land, we are in the pillar of cloud and fire in front of us and behind us leading and protecting us. Do we know that we have guardian angels helping us? There are biblical references to guardian angels. Matt. 18:10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For, I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Hebrew 1:14, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” I often pray to send my guardian angels to help me whenever I face difficult situations and circumstances. When I leave for Saint Louis, I ask the guardian angel to protect the church and the parsonage. When I drive, I ask the guardian angels to be in front of my car and protect me. God’s presence along with guardian angels are always with us as long as our direction is set toward the kingdom of God. This leads to the third point.
Third, vs. 20, “It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. So, the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.” We see from here that the pillar of cloud and fire is the light and protection for God’s people but the darkness and terrible punishment for satan and its evil forces. Guardian angels are for us helpers, bringing peace, comfort, and assurance of God’s leadership but for satan and its forces, they are avengers, bringing terror, dreaded feeling, and sure way to doom. God divides Egyptians from God’s people, posing as darkness to Egyptians and light to God’s people, heaven for God’s people but hell for satan and its followers. Are we on the way to the promised land? Are we in the light having the angel of God as our helper? Or are we in the darkness having the angel of God as avenger? Remember, we cannot be both in darkness and light at the same time. It is either, or, never both. The easiest target of satan is the stragglers from the group, not making up their decision firmly either to follow or to remain. They are the ones satan can bring back easily into their grip. Where are we between the world and the way to the promised land?
Forth, God makes a way where there is no way. When the Israelites escaped from Egypt, they soon faced difficulties on their journey to the promised land: Egyptians on their horseback and chariots speedily chasing them behind and having the Red Sea in front of them. They could not retreat nor could forward. In the eyes of people, it was their dead-end. But do we notice something here? No matter how hard Egyptians tried to get to the Israelites who were on their feet, yet, Egyptians could not get to the Israelites. What was more, God made a way through the sea for the Israelites to walk on through the water. That is what God does for God’s people. People in the world, on the other hand, when they face the dead end, when they cannot find a way out, they take drastic measures such as killing themselves. Do you find yourselves facing dead-end seeing no way out? Do you see the tip of Moses’ rod that makes the way where there is no way but water? When Almighty God is on our side, being the way, the light, and the life, whom should we fear, what should we dread and be fearful? Thanks be to God who loves us unto death and wants to save us from the world!! Amen!!!
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