By: Ely Lagajino
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:3 (ESV)
From Goshen, Egypt the Israelites assembled themselves at Succoth. Imagine the excitement and happiness of more than half a million children marching without masks, creating smoke-like dust in the air at the grand exodus. God directed them to pass the southward route, toward the shore of the Red Sea. If they followed the shortcut route to Canaan, they would pass through the countries occupied by the Philistines. Their joyous trip would be opposed by these warlike people who would be interested in the precious things that they gathered. Their little knowledge and faith in God because of the long years of slavery would lead them to panic. “They might change their mind and return to Egypt” (Exodus 13:17). Passing toward the Red Sea, would reveal that God has compassion and judgment (PP p.294).
The more than six hundred thousand men, not counting women, children, and their sheep, cattle, and other animals, left Succoth. At daytime, the Lord guided them through the pillar ofcloud. This canopy, like with an air conditioner moisture, protected them from the sun and dessert heat. The pillar of fire lit their way at night and served as light during their first encampment at Etham and onward. These pillars assured them of God’s presence.
In the daytime, they continued their journey and passed toward the rocky valleys. The Israelites’ caravan moved slowly and got tired, as their deformed cartwheels could no longer carry on so Moses told them to rest beside the Red Sea.
Meanwhile in Egypt, Pharaoh’s intelligence officer told him that the slaves had travelled toward the red sea with a motto never to return. Pharaoh, after recovering from the plague, gathered his forces to chase the Israelites. He didn’t want them to leave for good because of the shame campaign it caused to his throne. But God revealed to Moses that throughout their incredible journey He would deliver them from the enemies, and God’s name would be honored.