Ten awesome plagues. Pharoah finally gives in to Moses’ demand and releases the children of Israel. God grants them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, who give them silver, gold, and clothing. They see appear before them the Lord in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light.
Egypt behind them, freedom up ahead. “… the sons of Israel were going out boldly” Exodus 14:8, NASB.
What a heady feeling it must have been! Clutching their firstborn children, the Israelites get their first taste of victory and freedom.
Until the wind changes quickly.
A sudden change of heart whips Pharoah into a rage, who gathers all his horses and chariots and races after his fleeing slaves.
“As Pharoah drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord” Exodus 14.10. And they complain bitterly to Moses, thinking their end has come.
When no one is chasing you, you can puff out your chest and feel on top of the world. But when the enemy arms to the teeth and bears down upon you, how will you then hold up?
A little verse from Proverbs rings continually in my ears.
“If you falter in times of trouble,
how small is your strength!”
When Satan throws all he’s got at you, stand up in the strength of the Lord and face him squarely. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4.7b. The time to be bold is when the enemy presses upon you.
When the Israelites faltered, Moses roused them to faith.
“Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” Exodus 14:13-14.
With the Lord on your side, you may march out boldly, when the enemy is hot on your heels or when all is quiet around you. For you know the battle belongs to him.
“The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.
The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is his name.”