Daily Bible Reflection—9/21

Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.

Today’s reading comes from the book of Exodus, chapters 13 through 15, and presents the dramatic rescue of Israel through the parting of the Red Sea. Some impressions from the text:

  • The Feast of Unleavened Bread was instituted to mark the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. “You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth.” This again reiterates God’s purpose in the exodus, to glorify his name and make it known throughout the nations.
  • “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near.” God did not take his people by the path most logical to human minds. Instead, he routed them through the wilderness to the Red Sea. This made no sense whatsoever, from a human perspective. Of course, we know how it worked out. God had his own plans. There’s a lesson there for us today. God does not always lead down the path we would choose.
  • “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” What a magnificent passage of scripture. This was how Moses responsed to the people’s fear upon seeing Pharaoh’s armies pursue them. How quickly they lost faith in the God who had ten times performed miraculous signs demonstrating his sovereignty. We suffer from the same doubt today. We need only be silent, and trust in the Lord.
  • “Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” This was God’s purpose realized, the glorification of his name.
  • Some have attempted to provide naturalistic explanations for the ten plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. Of the latter, it has been said that there may have been some form of recession where the waters merely withdrew from a shallow part of the sea. But the song of the Israelites following God’s triumph makes clear the miraculous character of the parting. “At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.”
  • Three days. That’s how long it took for the people of Israel to go from exalting the name of the Lord after his triumph over the Egyptians to grumbling against Moses on account of bitter water. So it is with us. How quickly we forget who God is and what He has done on our behalf. How quickly we shift our focus from his promises to our immediate earthly desires.

Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.

Catch up on the previous entries:

Archived Genesis posts (scroll down in link).

Moses gets a mission from God. – Exodus 1-3

Believer and unbeliever, each defy God’s commandments. – Exodus 4-6

God makes his name known by plaguing Egypt.– Exodus 7-9

The final plagues, and God’s deliverance of Israel from their captivity in Egypt. – Exodus 10-12