Moses sees what no man has ever seen, something that you and I have not seen either, a bush on fire that is not consumed. When God draws near to us, we become something more beautiful than our imaginations can consume. Moses, who stood in Pharaoh’s Court, then cast out to the wilderness, heads back to Egypt to tell Pharaoh that the 600,000 men of Israel along with their woman and children who are his workforce, need to leave immediately. It takes seven awful plagues to get the message to sink in, but Pharaoh relents. Abraham Lincoln must have read this story in Exodus when he uttered, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
The Israelites leave. They plunder Egypt on the way out asking their former masters for gold and silver. And the Egyptians are willing to give it to them, just so they will leave and the plagues will cease. The 600,000 men of Israel along with their women and children march out of Egypt in battle array, they are free. You can hear a voice above all the others, like a William Wallace voice, bellowing “Freedom!” And off they march, joyful, confident and probably strong of heart, ready for their adventure with God. They have not fought for their freedom; they have not sacrificed on the field of battle; sacrificed in life assuredly by oppression, absolutely. But their freedom, their salvation, has been their prayers answered, their hopes relieved, it’s been a gift given.
A short time later, standing on the shores of the Red Sea, Pharaoh’s army on the heels of their encampment, the Israelite leaders speak these words to Moses, “Far better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” I’m assuming, the concept of feeling entitled and ungrateful just comes natural to men. The moment however, renders a powerful insight of God’s immense love for us. C.S. Lewis said: “God does not love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because he loves us.” In the pages moving forward God will give the Israelites the blueprint of how to love him back.
Moses responded to his whimpering army, “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today. For these Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you only have to keep still” (Exodus 14:13-14). Throughout the history of Israel, they will be constantly reminded of this day. I wonder if anybody in the crowd said, Thank You! When will our adventures become His adventures? Ain’t it so!