After naming the God of your victory, the next step is to celebrate the process – not the product. Celebrating the product comes naturally. We are emotionally vested in the product. But the discipline of naming God then studying and celebrating the process that He chose, will enrich our lives immensely.
“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble. By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.” Exodus 15:4-8 NIV
From our point of view, this story is so old that it is commonplace. Try to put yourself in the Hebrews’ sandals to grasp the sheer audacity of this move of God.
The Egyptians had chariots. The chariots had horses. The army had charioteers and armed warriors.
The Hebrews were afoot. Chariots could outrun them. The Hebrews had weapons but didn’t really know how to use them and had no grasp of military strategy. Besides that, they had women and children and elderly and cattle. How could you escape the speed of the chariots?
Well, there was some shred of hope. God HAD unleashed some hail and brimstone from heaven on the Egyptians before. That is one way to stop a chariot.
God could send a plague on their horses. No horses, no danger from chariots. You can’t push to jump start. So no horses was a theoretical option.
God could send a cloud of locust again. Would horses panic if they were sent through a cloud of locust? Possible tool in the hand of God, but not as emotionally comforting as the first two.
So within the frame of the God they knew, there were some options. None were compelling, but they were possible.
But, The God Who Plans Outside the Box was a new one to them. When you stop and think about it, chariots have two major liabilities (in addition to wheels that come off when God is messing with them). They don’t swim and they don’t fly.
We all know that.
But who of us would have thought of defeating chariots by making the pesky things try to swim? Oh, and horses don’t swim so very well when they are anchored by a non-swimming chariot. And charioteers don’t manage crises very well when they are dealing with the mother of all tsunamis.
God’s strategy was brilliant in its simplicity. Chariots don’t swim.
Ya gotta love it!
Oh, but the more you study the strategy, the more layers you see. The Egyptian curse we are warring against is defined as “upside down, inside out and backwards.” Just to mock that demon, God played his own trump card against him. What is more upside down than dry land at the bottom of the sea? If that is not an inversion, I don’t know what is.
God used the Egyptian demons’ own tools against him to lure him into position, then the chariots got exposed to The Ultimate Car Wash.
Notice some of the other nuances Moses captured.
-The best of the officers. The God of the Hebrews disdains beating the B Team. He took down the best of the best so that there was no opportunity for spin and excuses during the press conference back at the palace.
-Deep waters. Forget the salvage operation. These high tech, best in class chariots were gone. Utterly unsalvageable.
-Your right hand was majestic. The AV says “became glorious.” Moses exquisitely chose a word used only three times in Scripture, twice in this chapter. No ordinary, common word for majestic or glorious would work here. There is a familiar word for glorious – used 200 times in Scripture. But this was no ordinary glory. This was so superlative Moses had to reach deep into his vocabulary to find a word sufficiently lofty to capture this victory.
-Shattered the enemy. Again, a word used only twice in all of the Old Testament.
-Burning anger . . . consumed them like stubble. Don’t you just love the irony of this word picture? It presages Elijah on Mount Carmel calling down fire that consumed the wood, the sacrifice, the water, the stones and the dust. In other words, there was a nuclear event there. And the picture here was of God’s anger being so hot, it burned them up under water! I love poetry. Priceless juxtaposing of metaphors.
-By the blast of your nostrils. How diminishing! At least God’s super extraordinary gloriously majestic right hand overcoming them leaves a tiny trace of dignity. But to say God simply blew them away is a put down in any language.
-The surging waters stood up like a wall. Come on, Mo! Now you are just rubbing it in. Everyone learning and singing this song had to be thinking of all the bricks they made to build walls with. And to taunt the enemy with the fact that God sneezes a wall into existence, so much faster than they could, without needing to get in a huff over the straw issue . . .
There is power in deconstructing the processes God uses and savoring them. It doesn’t make the victory any different, but it sure can be transformational to our souls when we spend that kind of time working through the details.
Copyright December 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub