God, Just Where Do You Think You're Going?

In our last post, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", we looked at the Israelites who were deliberately led by God to the edge of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army hot on their trail. We learned that a strong, East Wind from the desert blew ALL THAT NIGHT to part the waters. It also stirred up a lot of sand and dust around God's people.


1. The waters did not part instantaneously.

2. The waters were slowly driven back by a wind that discomfited the very people it was designed to help.

3. The waters parted at night.

4. The people crossed over at night.

I held off mentioning the pillar of fire until this post. God's presence, indicated by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, went before them on their arduous journey through the wilderness.

So why was it dark? Surely,  the distraught travelers embraced the glow of that immense, magnificent pillar as a comforting sign at the edge of the sea.

No! Something totally unexpected happened.

God began to leave! Where was He going and why? Was He abandoning His people in their greatest hour of need?

Normally, the people would follow the light, but this time they had been commanded to STAND STILL! (v. 13).

You've heard from God many times and He has graciously shown you the way. In fact, you don't budge until He does. But this time, it appears as if God has moved from the familiar--from where He's always been.

You've come to a frightening halt. You're surrounded by clouds, not clarity.

You're almost convinced the waters will not part before the enemy arrives. (Even if they do, you'll have to forge ahead in the dark through imposing walls of water, straining against the wind toward collapse.)

Satan is confident you are boxed in with no way out. He's bearing down upon you with glee!

Oh, God...why won't you lead me as before? Why won't you give me the light I need in this situation?

Have I done something wrong?

I sense your presence; I see your light behind me…but that's not where I need You now!

Excuse me, but that's EXACTLY where He needs to be!
"And the Angel of God*, which went before the camp of Israel, REMOVED AND WENT BEHIND THEM; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face AND STOOD BEHIND THEM…

"...and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them (Egyptians), but it gave light by night to these (Israelites) so that the one came not near the other all the night." (Ex. 14:19, 20).

Light that comes from behind functions as a separating, not guiding light! **

The Hebrew word for light (owr) has both literal and figurative applications, including the word, "glory".


When God moves from in front of you to the rear, He is not abandoning but protecting you from the enemy taking advantage of your situation! The "East Wind" is still doing its job; it's not time to move forward.

By the way, what is your "East Wind"? Be careful not to rebuke the temptest; it may be your miracle- maker in disguise!

In the meantime, take a look over your shoulder. "…and the God of Israel shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 52:12) nkjv

* Any time we see the title "Angel of the Lord" in the Old Testament (where the word, 'angel' is capitalized), it is indicative of the literal presence of God, the Son. Bible scholars call this a Christophany.

A New Testament Scripture confirms this:
"For they (the Israelites in the wilderness) drank of that spiritual ROCK that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:3b

** Photographers use the technique known as 'backlighting'. Its purpose is not so much to bring light to the subject as it is to separate the subject from its background. God, the Son literally separated the Israelites from the enemy with Himself, foreshadowing our glorious Redemption.

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