Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:“Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in’” (Exod 14:1-3).
Are you familiar with the Battle of Dunkirk?
During WWII, Nazi Germany swept through Belgium and the Netherlands, trapping the British Expeditionary Force, along with Belgian and French troops, around the port town of Dunkirk (Dunkerque). As you can imagine, the soldiers were afraid. They were pressed up against the sea with nowhere to go. What would they do? It looked like their end was coming swiftly.
Then, controversially, instead of pressing the attack, the Germans stopped their advance and issued a three-day halt order. In 1945, Hitler would say it was to give Churchill a “sporting chance.” But Churchill wasn’t playing games. Whatever the reason, three days were enough time for the British to organize one of the most impressive rescue operations in history. Over 800 ships, including many private fishing vessels, crossed the English Channel, and rescued over 300,000 troops from Dunkirk.
In Exodus 14, the Jews were also in a tight spot and needed rescue. The Egyptians—the greatest superpower at that time—were in hot pursuit, when God told the Jews to go to Pi-Hahiroth. Although we do not know exactly where that was (see here for a possibility), we know it was by the sea. As with the British at Dunkirk, the Jews had the Egyptians on one side, the Sea on the other, and no chance of rescue.
And that was exactly what the Lord wanted the Egyptians to think. God wanted the Egyptians to go in for the kill. (And they would!).
But here’s the point—although from a merely human perspective, being trapped “between Migdol and the sea” was the worst place to be, that was exactly where the Jews needed to be according to the divine perspective.
Right now, you may be in a tight spot, in your own Dunkirk. And you may be very worried. From a human point of view, that is not where you want to be. Who will rescue you?
But if you have been following the Lord, walking in the light (1 John 1:7), confessing your sin (1 John 1:9), then that is where God wants you to be. And here is the principle (which I recently heard said by another preacher):
Principle 1: The God Who led you in, will also lead you out.
As we’ll see in future blog posts (and as you probably already know), God did rescue the Jews from the Egyptians, but not in the way they anticipated.
Likewise, whatever your situation, trust in God. And remember that whatever happens, your greatest rescue has already occurred. If you have believed in Jesus for eternal salvation, then you have it right now.
You might not have passed over the English Channel or across the Red Sea, but you have already passed from death to life (John 5:24).