I clutched Uncle Zadok’s hand as we followed the others through. It was night and yet the pillar of fire provided a light for our path. My boyish sense of adventure seemed missing as I took my first step cautiously. I was frightened, totally overwhelmed and yet so grateful that Jehovah had chosen to deliver us in this way.
My mind travelled back to the night we started the journey, our exodus from Egypt. From the house of high and mighty Pharaoh, to the lowest stable in the land, heart wrenching laments had filled the air as the Angel of Death struck every firstborn in Egypt.
How grateful I was that we had followed God’s orders and smeared the blood of that little lamb on our doorpost. That blood had saved us from the last of the plagues, the final terrible blow that broke the yoke of our slavery. So we left along the route chosen by God.
Yet our Slave Master was not about to let us go that easily. With the best of his chariots - not less than six hundred - and horses and his vast army, Pharaoh pursued and overtook us as we camped by the sea, effectively blocking our escape.
I heard murmurings among the people, “Moses, what now?” “Have we come this far only to die in the desert?” “Wouldn’t it have been better to stay in Egypt?”
“You don’t have to be afraid, just wait and you will see how God will get us out of this,” Moses assured us. “Your slave masters will not trouble you any longer”.
Then as he stretched his rod over the Red Sea, the Lord drew the waters back with a strong east wind and it parted into two! So that’s how we found ourselves walking on the bed of the sea with huge walls of water on either side of us!
Half way through to the opposite shore however, I heard a shout and turned. There was the army, marching down in pursuit of us with their horses and chariots!
“Uncle Zadok”, I screamed, “what shall we do?”
“We will keep walking son.” “Keep walking?” “But Pharaoh’s army is bearing down on us!”
“That’s the more reason to go where God says we should go” he said, gripping my hand a bit tighter and picking up his pace.
I could feel the swifter movement of our people as we got nearer the shore yet I dared not look back again for fear of the enemy that lurked behind; even though from a safe distance for now!
“Hurry Joshua, I’m right behind you,” my Uncle said as he moved back to help an older man with his burden. I scurried for the shore, panting and terrified. I looked out for his familiar figure but couldn’t see him as the last group of Israelites crossed over to the shore safely.
And then the strangest thing happened. Pharaoh’s army seemed to have been thrown into panic. Suddenly they turned from pursuing us and fled towards the opposite shore! But their chariots’ wheels began to spin around and fall off and they struggled to drive.
Moses stretched his rod towards the sea again; and with the ferociousness of a beast freed from bondage, the walls of water came rushing forth and crashed over Pharaoh’s army. In a matter of minutes nothing was left of the Egyptians that threatened our lives. They all perished, right before our eyes!
“Joshua, Jehovah never fails” said a familiar voice behind me. I rushed into his arms. “Yes Uncle Zadok”, “it’s so amazing!”
“We have a long journey, ahead but no matter what happens remember that God will lead us to that Promised Land. He will not fail His covenant with our fathers, or with us.”
“Yes, I see that now. His breath will surely blow out against our enemies like He did today!”
“That’s true, so let’s keep walking okay”? “Sure Uncle.”
Already the women were singing a victory song. Tambourines began to sound and the ground shook as they danced.
My own feet began to move as well. Today was a day of victory.
My Uncle was right; we could keep walking on towards that unknown land because God would fight for us!
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” (Psalm 20:7-8, NIV)
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