But with God, one never knows…

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Exodus 14: 19 The angel of God (accompanying the Hebrews as they fled Egypt) was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Moses and the Israelites followed God’s lead by going wherever the “pillar of cloud” went. Via the cloud, God led the way. But then, as they got close to the Red Sea, the cloud moved from in front of the Israelites to their rear – coming between them and the Egyptian army giving chase. The Israelites appeared trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army, but then God parted the sea so the Israelites could escape. For many of you this is a familiar story.

What gets my attention this morning is the mention of the “Israelite army” in verses 19 and 20. What army? We’re told the Egyptians had chariots and chariot-riders and infantry. The Israelites were no army. They were men, women, and children along with their livestock. It seems laughable really. They would normally be no match for the Egyptians – but they had God on their side and that gave them victory.

I can’t help but think of what’s happening in the Ukraine today as Ukrainian women and children attempt to escape to Poland and other neighboring countries ahead of the Russian army in pursuit. And while there is a Ukrainian army, many doing the fighting are not soldiers. They are everyday people who have simply determined to take up arms and defend their homes, families, and national identity. How long can such an “army” hold out against the overwhelming force of the Russian army? I’m afraid not long enough, even with support from the West.

But with God, one never knows.

Heavenly Father come to the aid of your children in the Ukraine today. Amen.

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