Friday, February 10, 2012

Exodus 14:23-25 Pursued

"The Egyptians pursued them,
and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen
followed them into the sea.
During the last watch of the night
the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud
at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.
He made the wheels of their chariots come off
so that they had difficulty driving.
And the Egyptians said, 'Let's get away from the Israelites!
The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.' "

Exodus 14:23-25 (NIV)

As the Israelites crossed the sea between the walls of water, the Egyptians reached the edge of the sea.  We are not told exactly what they were thinking, but we can imagine that Pharaoh thought something like, "Hey, if they can cross here so can we!" -- for they immediately followed the Israelites into the sea in hot pursuit.

The LORD looked down upon the scene and threw the Egyptian army into confusion.  I remember reading other places in the Bible where similar incidents took place and the enemies of Israel became confused and began attacking each other (I Samuel 14), or where they were disorientated (II Kings 6:18-23) and demoralized (Joshua 10:9-10) in some way.  Face it, when you have the Creator of the universe fighting against you, you are in a heap of trouble.

Not only were the Egyptians thrown into confusion, but they were also given that most aggravating state of affairs:  vehicle trouble.  Their chariots, those powerful weapons in which the Egyptians trusted for military advantage, became all wobbly in the wheels.  In fact, the wheels even came off, so it is no wonder that "they had difficulty driving."

At this the Egyptians finally realized their mistake.  They tried to get away from the Israelites.  It had become obvious to them that the LORD Himself was fighting for Israel.  Encumbered by the iron weapons and chariots in which they had trusted, the Egyptians suddenly found themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

However, the worst was yet to come.  For now, to his horror, someone noticed that the sea was beginning to become unsettled and flow back toward Pharaoh's struggling forces.

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