Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this .
On day 4 of our first scout trip to Egypt, we left Goshen heading out on the Exodus route. It was amazing how quickly the green turned to stark desert. We crossed the Suez Canal and turned SE down towards the Sinai. We began to read and try to figure out where they might have camped. In Exodus 13:20 it says “After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.” This is where the pillar of cloud and fire began to lead them.
Then we read in chapter 14, verses 1-4 that God told Moses to turn back and camp at Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the Sea. He said camp right by the Sea, the one that they were going to cross later. As we studied this and put it on a map, we realized that God set the Israelite people up where they are stuck next to the sea. There were several places that they could have gone around the body of water and kept on going, but he purposely put them with their back to the sea and the Egyptians coming after them. He put them in a position where they couldn’t do anything but cry out for help. This was the first time that the children of Israel put their trust completely in God and Moses. And one of the most major miracles in the Bible follows.
The metaphor is clear and obvious; God puts us in situations that are out of our control; no way can we fix it. We add very little, if anything, to the equation. And this is when God comes in power, if we completely put our trust in Him.