GOD’S CARE FOR HIS PEOPLE
Guidance and Protection – Exodus 14
Even at most critical times when all hope is lost, God always guides and protects his people. This is exemplified in the marvelous work God did for the people of Israel shortly after they left Egypt, as recorded in Exodus 14. Pharaoh regretted to have released the Israelites. He then changed his mind to pursue them. The Israelites were terrified to see the chariots of soldiers approaching. They found themselves between the devil and the deep sea. Thus, for the very first time, they rebelled against Moses in apparent feat of anger.
“What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Ex. 14:11-12)
Whereupon Moses assured them of God’s protection and assistance. The Egyptians were so close to them. The people marched closer to the Red Sea, following God’s instruction. Soon, it was night and God swung into action.
“The angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night” (Exodus 14:19-20)
Night having passed without any harm, God told Moses to stretch his rod over the sea and the sea parted, as they passed on dry land. Expectedly, the Egyptians followed immediately, but Moses repeated the act and the sea came back to its normal flowing rhythm. All the Egyptians got drowned. This was how God guided and protected Israel that day from the Egyptians.
God’s guidance is possible only for those who are ready to do God’s will and accept his leadership. Prayer is also part of the conditions that must be fulfilled in seeking God’s guidance.
Apart from Israel, God guides all people today, especially his own people called christians. In order that the world might not perish, he sent his son to die for mankind hence, christians are guided to have eternal life. This is the more reason the Bible is as well given to us as part of God’s provision to guide us. The Lord never stopped there but also sent his spirit to dwell in us for proper guidance.
There are so many ways by which God leads his people. First, through the word of God in the Bible. Secondly, imbibing his spirit in us. Others are through church leaders, elders, parents, teachers, angels etc.
Nigeria, our country is very much under God’s guidance. This is because with our different cultural backgrounds and tribal sentiments, we would not on our own alone be able to manage our affairs if not God.
Now, with the rapid economic upheaval and the ups and downs of our whole system, if not for God’s guidance we would not have been able to survive.
- Guidance is the act of leading, directing or showing a person or something the way
- God brought Israel out of Egypt and guided her to the promised land. God also gave them the law in order to guide them live the life.
- All people are guided today, especially, the christians, whom God has given eternal life.
- Nigeria is under God’s guidance, otherwise, she would have fallen since.
- Some ways God guides are through the bible, his spirit, church
- leaders, our parents, teachers, circumstances, angels, etc.
- Obedience to God’s command leads to victory and long life.
- God brought out Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand of protection.
- God intentionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart so as to be glorified over Pharaoh.
- At God’s command, Moses divided the Red Sea and the Israelites crossed, while the Egyptian army perished.
- God protects all people, not only Israel, if we obey him.
- We receive God’s guidance through prayer.
Provision – Exodus 16:1-21; 17:1-7
Another form in which God manifests his care for his people is in the provision of their material needs. The people had murmured and rebelled against Moses and Aaron, on account of hunger. This was at a place called the Wilderness of Sin. They openly accused Moses of bringing them out to the wilderness to starve them to death. They openly told him that it was much better to remain as slaves and be alive than to be free and perish.
Again, Moses turned to God for an answer. This agitation gave rise to the provision of manna – “a fine flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground.” The people were instructed to gather only what they could finish same day, as it melted once the weather was hot. God promised a fresh supply in the same manner every morning. In the evening, God provided Quails (birds) which the people ate daily. These were what the people ate throughout their stay in the wilderness.
In the course of their journey, they became thirsty and as usual, murmured and demanded water. God responded immediately by telling Moses to move up to Mount Horeb with the elders of the people. There, God showed him a rock which He commanded Moses to strike. Moses did and fresh water rushed out and the people drank and became satisfied. This happened at a place called Rephidim. Moses called the place “Massa and Meribah” because here, the people found fault and questioned if at all the Lord was with them or not.
Lessons To Learn And Significance of God’s Care
- The food (manna) that came from heaven signifies that they (Israelites) belong to the one in heaven (God).
- Good deliberately caused the people to lack food and water so that they will depend totally on him for their needs and to know that they owed their sustenance to Him.
- In time of crisis, God can never forsake His people as long as they trust Him.
- God’s instruction to the people to pick food that can sustain them for that day alone shows that we should not be greedy- we should only ask God for our daily bread.
- God is always ready and willing to fight those who fight us as He fought the Egyptians.
- As the Red Sea separated and the people passed over, so is Jesus our own escape route from destruction to freedom.
- As the people depended on God for guidance, protection and provision, so should we depend on and trust in Him.
- God is ever vigilant, He is our guardian, refuge and sanctuary.
- Sometimes, God allows some misfortune to befall us, just to test our faith and trust.
- There is no problem God cannot solve.
- Sometimes, God allows our problems to reach a crisis point before he steps in as was the case before the people crossed the Red Sea.
- God in his sovereignty and love provides all our needs even before we ask.
- His endurance has no limit. He endures even our ingratitude.
- God could really punish us if we remain disobedient and unrepentant.
- He is patient and endures. Several times, God provided for the people, but several times they remained ungrateful.
At the Wilderness of Sin the people murmured and rebelled against Moses on account of hunger.
Moses prayed to God who started sending manna from heaven as their food in the morning, and quails (birds) in the evening daily.
At Rephidim, the people repeated the same thing because they were thirsty. Here too, God commanded Moses to strike the rock which brought water for them to drink. Moses called the place ‘Massa and Meribah’ which means proof and contention. They remembered all kinds of food eaten in Egypt, why then should Moses bring them to die in the wilderness?