About six weeks ago I started reading the book of Exodus in the bible. Although, I have read through it a couple of times before, however, this time was obviously different. Truthfully, that is the way it should it be--getting something new from the word of God every time we read it.
On this particular occasion something I read chapter 14 stuck with me long after I had finished reading the last verse in the last chapter. It was nothing earth shattering, but it caused MUCH introspection. For all who have read the bible you could probably guess what is going on in said chapter. However, if someone who has not read the bible is reading my blog, let me give some back story.
Pharaoh and his army are advancing on Moses and the Israelites near the Red Sea. In fear, the children of Israel cry out to the LORD and in the next breath come against Moses for leading them to where they are. Moses responds by saying (chapter 14 v.13), "Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today."
It is here at this point the people are looking back. To what? To the enemy bearing down on them, to a former lifestyle, friends left behind and what they had known. Now Israel is at a crossroads. Do they believe Moses and expect God's deliverance? Or, do they beg mercy at the point of the Egyptian sword?
Cracking on. Verse 13 ends with these words, "For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever."
Okay. Seems pretty routine to me. Nothing new jumps off the page.
Now, lets look at God's reply to the situation in the last line in verse 15. "Tell the children of Israel to go forward." Go forward. Those two words stuck in my mind for sometime afterwards. Surely God meant they could go forward across the Red Sea. But this was before Moses parted it, in which the words were spoken.
God was telling Israel to "go forward" from Egypt, all forms of idolatry, the sinful lifestyle, relationships, and anything else that would only hinder them from truly knowing God.
That is when it hit me. I too had been looking back and for far too often.
God was telling me to "go forward."
God wanted me to stop looking back at my past failures, my past lifestyle, my fears and an enemy with whom He had already proclaimed defeated.
Once again I speak the words within my mind "go forward".
My heart sank and I made my way to my knees to pray.
Just as He was doing with Israel, God also wanted to do with me, lead me to a place where only He and I could be together. But until I decided to commit my ways to God and let Him become my 'Cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night' then one day I may look back as 'Lot's wife' did and suffer God's judgment.
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39