The miracle recorded in this passage has got to be one of the most famous in the Bible, probably right after the Resurrection. Blockbuster movies have been made about it, and it’s certainly one of the most spectacular displays of God’s power. Since it’s so famous and familiar, I decided not to dwell so much on the Parting as such but on a little-noticed point in the story. I honestly believe that the image of God as noted here is one of the most profound we ever see in Scripture.
As the Hebrews were crossing the parted Sea, an obvious problem would've arisen for them. How to keep the Egyptian army (again, the best in the world at that time) from capturing and/or slaughtering them before they crossed? The Hebrews numbered in the millions of people, and any movement of so many people, even for a short distance, would take hours, and they didn’t have it. So the same God who parted the Sea for them also intervened (literally) to protect them and give them enough time to cross safely. He did this by stepping in between his people and the Egyptians.
Here's the picture I wanted to note. The pillar of cloud, representing the Presence of the Lord, came down between them and the Egyptians. This is extremely important: The same God was light on one side and darkness on the other. To his own people, it was as bright as day, and to his enemies, it was pitch blackness.
This is such an accurate portrayal of the Lord whom we worship. He is both light and darkness, both love and hate, both grace and judgment. We as his children know him by his grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, and kindness. To his enemies and the rebels against his Kingdom (and unfortunately this includes all lost people), he is darkness. At the Last Judgment they will only know him by his justice and power. He hates sin, and on that day we’ll all see just how much. And finally notice the effect of this cloud: “neither went near the other all night long.” God is the great Separator of humanity, and we need to make sure we’re on the right “side.”
Thank you Lord Jesus, for your blood which covers my sin. You are so worthy of my love and obedience.
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