With no other way out, I begin to step forward. Terror seizes my soul, as behind me I hear haunting cries of warriors, horses neighing and chariot wheels grinding. My life flashes before fixed eyes; looking ahead, I see the formidable Red Sea. "I'm too young to die!" Multitudes, following Moses' orders to cross-turbulent waters, jostle me in the crowd. Gazing farther ahead, I perceive panic in men and women alike; pushing and shoving like fearful sheep, they draw near the sea. "Will Pharaoh's army overtake us?"
The mass exodus from Egypt seems unreal. I had relentlessly cried out to God for freedom from tyrannical oppressors with their constant demands and flesh ripping whips. Yet, in unbelief, I had given up all hope of Pharaoh allowing us to leave. Resigned to slavery, I thought I must have been dreaming when Father gathered us under the cover of darkness to break the news. "Quickly, secure your belongings and prepare to leave! Pharaoh is letting us go! Moses has given instructions; we will go into the wilderness to worship Jehovah God!"
"How can we worship when being chased by vindictive enemies?" Father is leading; mother is at his heals toting baby brother and I trail behind. With trepidation, I falter and nearly fall. The possibility of horses trampling me to death empowers me to steady myself and proceed. "I have not seen Benjamin!" What if he dawdled and did not escape? We were to enter the marriage covenant at the next full moon; a place had been prepared in his father's house. Now, I am uncertain of being witness to the next setting of the sun.
I hear shouts of rejoicing as the first brave Hebrews step into frigid raging waters. The sea parts, as if standing at attention to the commander of Heavenly Hosts! Water banks form protective barrier walls to refugees, who in obedience began to crossover to safety. Our procession resembles an inexperienced military, marching out of formation faster and faster. Breathless, I reach the shoreline, raise the hem of my garment and enter receding waters. I traverse a now well-worn path of deliverance. Briefly, enraptured with God's miraculous power, I forget what lay behind. The reality of continued danger resurfaces as I hear taunts of soldiers amidst clanging of chariots at my rear.
I have an overwhelming urge to stop in my tracks, turn and look back. "How close are they?" As if reading my thoughts, Father beckons me: "Rachael, Hurry! Don't look back!" I heed my father's warning and hustle to his side. How had I ended up at the back of the line? A deafening sound of rushing waters and men's frantic screams of torment resound in my ears. Our pursuers taste the wrath of our mighty God, Jehovah Rohi! I quiver and heave a sigh of relief; in exhaustion, I give way to sobs in the midst of kindred and friends. God's protection bathes me with warmth as the noonday sun. Shouts of joy pierce the deafening destroyer's darkness. Shouts of victory turn hearts to sing unto the Lord!
"I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea; and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea. The floods cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone (Exodus 15:1b-5 RSV)." The prideful enemy sinks like a rock. Our eternal Rock halts their futile pursuit!
Worry over Benjamin continues to pursue me. The entrance-way to my mind stands unbarred. A familiar presence closes in from behind; heated breath upon my neck rushes a blush to my face. "Rachael, you are safe!" Benjamin firmly grips my sagging shoulders, whirling me around to face him. I behold the eyes of my beloved! He and I are recipients of the Father's mercies. Egypt, no longer rules and reigns over God's covenant children. The Lord vanquished the enemy; I will look back through memories and give an offering of praise to my deliverer! Looking ahead, I anticipate reaching the Promised Land and witnessing God's promises fulfilled. I see in Benjamin's eyes, eye's of my Father, inviting me to look ahead.
Freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Devotional writing is her first love. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal and more. Devotions included in Tyndale Publisher's 'The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter' by Mary Hollingsworth.
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