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January 20, 2023 - Exodus 14-17

The Lord had the people of Israel encamp before the Red Sea knowing “Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in’” (14:3). What a fool Pharaoh was! He still thought he was in control of matters and was master over Israel. God’s response? “And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (14:4). This is in fulfillment of God’s pronouncement in Exodus 7:5 – “The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.”

Oh, my! Today, like Pharaoh, nations and rulers and people of all sorts scoff and dismiss God and his people. The psalmist noticed that they rage and plot in vain. They set themselves against the Lord and seek to throw off his rule. God’s response? “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:1-4). With Moses and Israel, in the face of all the insults the world can throw at us, in the midst of all the vicious attacks, and before all the skeptics, we sing, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him” (15:2). And, so, the people “set out from Elim” (16:1), and the Lord provided water and bread and all that the people needed. Oh, yeah! The Lord is God! And he is our Savior and Provider!

As true as God’s own Word is true,

Not earth nor hell’s satanic crew

Against us shall prevail.

Their might? A joke, a mere facade!

God is with us and we with God—

Our vict’ry cannot fail. -- Michael Altenburg & Jacobus Fabricius (17th century)

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