Am I the only one that wanted to slap those Israelites for complaining? Their memory of a fantastic rescue sure faded fast. But that’s pretty normal, it? It seems we’re all programmed to want our way. As little children, we expect to be served. As we grow older we tend to navigate toward self-serving activities.
To give the Israelites a bit of a break, being thirsty could certainly lead me to be a bit grumpy. Physiologically, our bodies need water. Dehydration is also pretty serious and can cause us to not act like ourselves. But wasn’t it cool how when Moses called on God the perfect solution was there! A piece of wood! Brilliant!
When things are going great in our lives, it’s easy to sing
praises to the Lord. It’s when things are not going well that people tend to
fall away and think that God has abandoned them. This is such a great song of
praise. Moses and the people had just experienced something so powerful it
would make the history books for sure. God’s word, even better!
Overcome with emotion and overflowing with gratitude the people sang. What a beautiful song and tribute to God these verses are. As I understand it, music was an important part of Israel’s worship and celebration. It only makes sense that the people would break out in song to give praise to God for his victory over the Egyptians. Never once do they take any credit for the majesty of God.
When is the last time you walked across a body of water on dry land? I imagine the walls of water standing beside us as if encased in glass. If you’ve ever encountered a flood or the devastation left behind, you know how powerful water can be. God’s power was greater. He was not through showing the people. He wanted there to be no doubt.
How about in your own life? Have you made it through something that seemed unsurmountable at the time, but miraculously you got through it? I think of our move abroad. When I walked around a house full of memories and “things” I had a difficult time imagining how we could get it all packed and moved. After collecting a lifetime of treasures, we had to decide what made the cut and what we would be donating or trying to sell. We prayed ourselves through the process. God continued to open doors (part the waters) for us at every turn.
When God is your GPS, you follow where he leads. Even if it means he’s taking you way out of the way. When our GPS (we use Waze app) tells us to go out of our way, it’s to protect us from some long delay or unforeseen road blockage down the road we wouldn’t see otherwise. God had his reason to protect his people from the shortcut, too.
The Israelites were finally on their way. God continued to show up to protect and lead the way. The pillars of cloud and fire, by day and by night, were there to remind them of God’s presence. When I’m feeling a little lost and unsure of myself, I would sure love to look up and see a pillar of cloud or fire showing me the way. But we do have God close by, we don’t need a billow of smoke to remind us of that.
The exodus from Egypt was a big deal. It is an event still remembered today. A tradition kept because God said so. We heard in our last reading that not only did the Israelites leave Egypt with God’s help, but other slaves and tag-alongs did as well. Our reading today sets the guidelines for the remembrance and how it should be commemorated.
Like an army, it says, the Lord brought the people out. That must have been quite a spectacle. The people were on their way to a new reality that we will see unfold in the days ahead. For now, we should read this passage as a word from God to remember him. Do you celebrate the Passover in your tradition? If not, today’s reading will be a good reminder of what God decreed.