As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them— Egyptians! Coming at them!
They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.'” Exodus 14: 10-12; Message Bible
The Israelites had just left Egypt for the Promised Land in this passage. They were looking forward to what Moses said the Lord had in store for them. Freedom, abundant life, plentiful food and safe dwelling places were all the wonderful changes coming in their new life. They were promised God’s protection and His strength as they journeyed, and so they moved forward with anticipation; forsaking all and leaving the comfort of their former homes.
Similarly, we have been promised these blessings as we take on the Lord’s commandments in our life. We committed to following Him and forsook all in order to inherit His blessings upon our lives. Oh, it is a great promise and one that we heard with such excitement; and thus, we vowed we would not forsake the path, come what may.
And then we faced our first problem on our journey out of Egypt. One that left us questioning ourselves, “Did I hear Him wrong?” And we thought He had abandoned us and left us open, easy prey to the enemy. We ran around in circles, throwing up our hands and crying out in pain, “Why, Lord, why have you allowed this in my life? What have I done to deserve such treatment from your hand? It would have been better for me to have remained the way I was than to have accepted your way of life!” Suddenly, returning to Egypt seems like a good idea! When the enemy seems bigger than life and He’s coming at you from behind with all his army — you just want to run! Your knees buckle, you freeze in your tracks and all you can do is cry out for dear life!
Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again. God will fight the battle for you. Exodus 14: 13-14, Message Bible
When you reach the point where you want to turn back, the point where you think your former path was easier living, and want to just give up: cry out to God. He will come to your rescue. He will personally deal with your enemy, your problems, and remove them from your life. From my experience, I have turned back and found that the old way did not provide any relief. It only made my life more complicated and left me feeling guilty. Guilty and sorry! Sorry that I had given up so quickly, and guilty that I had found comfort in my old ways. But, I think He knew this would happen. I believe God allowed me to digress because he knew that I would become a much wiser person for the wear upon returning.
However, my friend, we are trying to establish our path forward without having to suffer the pains of abandonment, and taking a detour that will only cause you extra mileage in your journey. Learn a lesson from my experience: it doesn’t pay to return to Egypt! Especially when you are so close to the promised land.
But the people you redeemed,
you led in merciful love;
You guided them under your protection
to your holy pasture.
Exodus 14:12-13; Message Bible
After God delivered them from their enemy they sang a victory song to Him. They acknowledged that He had guided and protected them with His mighty hand on the path to the promised land. After you have traveled the long, hard road and arrived at your destination (your victory), then you can look back and see where it was He guided you through the perils of your journey. Sing a song of praise, dance up a storm, laugh with joy; for He has delivered you from your problem and from being overtaken.
Remember, when you feel like there is no way out and that you are going to fall into the enemy’s hands, cry out to God! He will hear you and deliver you every time. It’s His promise!
Be blessed in your walk today,