Mostly dear readers of mine, I write a bit for me and a bit for you. I try and take into account what you might like to hear and scribble accordingly. This one, however, is more for me this week. I kind of know it but wanted to write it down because it will do me good to see it. Feel free to ignore.
A long reading – bit and pieces from Exodus. You can read it in more coherent form in the Bible
Sooo, the Children of Israel are on the run from Egypt, because Pharaoh had decided to let them go and then changed his mind, as you do when you are an all powerful despot I suppose. (Just a word of advice – bad move)
They moved on from Succoth and then camped at Etham at the edge of the wilderness. God went ahead of them in a Pillar of Cloud during the day to guide them on the way, and at night in a Pillar of Fire to give them light;this way they could travel by day and night. The Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by night never left the people.
God spoke to Moses “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.” And that’s what happened.
Just to note here that the children of Israel who are not particularly noted for their unquestioning obedience to God are, for once doing exactly what they are told. They followed the Pillar exactly as God commanded and suddenly find that the whole thing goes massively pear shaped as they look behind to see lots of Egyptian shaped armies making a bee line for them. They are trapped. They are on the shore of the sea and the lie of the land means that they cannot go left or right – not to mention the fact that they are quite obviously NOT an army – they are a band of refugees who are not equipped for any sort of fighting at all. They have, to all intents and purposes, followed God into a trap. They then revert immediately to type and begin moaning and groaning and wishing they were dead etc. Moses – again to type – makes a big pronouncement about God while also telling then to back off.
“Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. take a good look at the Egyptians for you’re never going to see them again. God will fight the battle for you.
And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
The rest is history as they say. The very Pillar of Fire/Cloud that had proved so treacherous to Israel, turned on the Egyptians and they ended up sleeping with the fishes as Italian type people are sometimes heard to say.
So what to learn?
Not all messes are of my making. Sometimes I am being as obedient as I am ever going to get in this lifetime and it still ends up a big pile of poop.
It seems that God actually leads us into horrible places, where there is apparently no escape.
But, if I believe in God is it realistic believing in a God who
a) Ain’t that keen on me
b) Is too wishy-washy to actually do anything to help me.
And anyway, all the evidence at my disposal points to a) and b) being a pile of piffle.
There is, of course, always the possibility that God leads us/me into these places to show us
a) How much he loves us by…
b) being God and doing something stupendous and rescuing us.
All I need to do is hand it over, carry on doing what I am told and believe.
I believe. Help me with my doubts