Bible Society of South Africa

Grace: Journey of grace – 15 November 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

13Faithful to your promise, you led the people you had rescued;

by your strength you guided them to your sacred land.

Exodus 15:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Have you ever stopped to visualise Moses leading the Israelites out from Egypt?

It must have been an awe-inspiring sight to see this vast multitude of people, of “six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children”, (Exodus 12:37) all excitedly walking together with their large droves of livestock, carrying their goods, and even the dough that hadn’t yet been leavened, in kneading troughs, which they would now bake along the way.

Many other people, who weren’t Israelites, who’d also chosen to leave Egypt, were with them.

Perhaps Moses felt, at times, that it was like herding cats and would’ve appreciated this modern expression to describe what must have been a rather chaotic, surreal experience, despite his knowledge that the LORD’s Presence, to guide them, was very real.

From the very beginning God’s hand was upon them, even when fear and uncertainty sometimes gripped them.

He’d made sure that after suffering the ten plagues, which had ended with the killing of the firstborn, Pharaoh would’ve only be too pleased to let them go; besides, “The LORD had made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for” (Exodus 12:36) which ensured that this unwieldy multitude had everything they needed from the beginning.

As a caring Father, God “kept vigil” the night they left “to bring them out of Egypt” (Exodus 12:42) and thereafter, “by day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” (Exodus 13:21
Through Moses He instructed them, and worked out strategies, to ensure that they wouldn’t lose heart, (Exodus 13:17) and would escape the Egyptians that pursued them to take them back to Egypt.)

The words of our verse today come from the jubilant Song of Moses and Miriam, sung in joyful exaltation of the LORD’s gracious care in their successful escape from Egypt. He’d brought the Israelites safely across the Red Sea on dry land, and then defeated the Egyptian army that was pursuing them.

This amazing journey through the Wilderness was to be one of trial and testing, as God made himself known to his Chosen People through his “unfailing love” and commitment to them, throughout.

Have we ever stopped to visualise Jesus leading us out of Egypt?

God’s hand is on us in our fears and uncertainties just as it was on the Israelites; He is with us night and day on our journey when we’re tested in the ‘Wilderness’. But, unlike the Israelites, we have the privilege of knowing of his love and grace up front, through Jesus Christ. As we trust in his unfailing love and grace, we, too, can grow to know him better each day.

Where are you on your amazing journey?

Prayer: “I will exalt you my God, the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. (You are) gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love … You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:1,3,16) Thank You Gracious Father. Amen

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