Exodus 14:19-29 (NIV) “Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other; so neither went near the other all night long.”
After many plagues and hardships had come upon Egypt through the stubbornness of the Pharoah not releasing the children of Israel, they were finally on their way to the promise land. The Pharoah had gladly set the people free from their bondage when his first born son died from the death angel passing over Egypt, the last plague, however, after the Israelites left, the Pharoah became angry and gathered his army together to pursue Israel and punish them for his sorrow. The Egyptian army came upon Israel as they were camped by the Red Sea. I would say they were caught ‘between a rock and a hard place’!
The Israelites were afraid as they saw the Egyptian army drawing near. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, it appeared they would all be slaughtered in the dessert or at best, taken back to Egypt to live once more as slaves. But God had a different plan!
The angel of the Lord came between the Israelites and the Egyptian army, causing a cloud to remain there all night. This cloud caused darkness to the Egyptians but gave light to the Israelites. God instructed Moses to hold out his staff to the water and God parted the sea, causing the waters to roll back and make a path for the people to cross on dry ground. They had light from the cloud all night so they could travel to the other side of the sea. After they had arrived on the other shore, God allowed the cloud to lift and Pharoah with his army charged after the Israelites. God released the waters upon the Egyptian army, including the Pharoah, and they were all drowned. The Israelites were saved and free to continue their journey to the land of Canaan, never to be pursued by the Egyptians again.
There are times when we are ‘between a rock and a hard place’ in life. Times when there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from troubles. Times when the enemy and all of his demons are charging us, planning to slaughter us or take us captive as slaves, times when it is an impossible situation with no visible solution. But God has another plan!
The same cloud that will darken the enemy’s sight will give us light. The same waters that are parted for us to escape will crush our attackers. God is both beautiful and terrible. It just depends on which side of the cloud you are on!
We should remember that there’s never anything too hard for God. Regardless of what our ‘rock’ or our ‘hard place’ may be, God has another plan!