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From Desperation to Celebration

I can see her now. She glances nervously around as she hurries along the river’s edge looking for a hiding place. A place in the shadows…an opening that’s just big enough…She finds it and gently pushes the ark carrying the baby into the tall reeds. She steps quickly away before her deception is discovered.

Imagine the anxiety and fear that would have prompted such an act. Imagine the courage it took to carry it out. Desperation falls upon Miriam. She has been tasked to watch over her baby brother, and now she can only stand helplessly by while baby Moses begins to cry.

Yes, life had grown desperate for Amram and Jochebed, the parents of Moses. So desperate that they chose to hide him in the only place where they thought no one could find him - the Nile River. Pharaoh’s latest decree, to kill all male Israelite babies, would have seen to his death. But God arranged a deliverer from a most unlikely location; right from under Pharaoh’s own roof. Pharoah's daughter rescued baby Moses from the Nile.

A quick-witted Miriam arranged for Moses to be returned back to his mother’s arms - complete with a paycheck for his ongoing care. How’s that for deliverance?

In Exodus the 2nd chapter, we read the account of how Moses fled from Egypt because his life was once again in danger. It was while he was in exile that God spoke to him from the Burning Bush. God told him to return to Egypt. God gave the specific words that he should say to the elders of Israel and to Pharoah. God promised that Pharaoh would eventually allow Israel to leave Egypt.

Following this came the plagues, repeated audiences with Pharaoh, and the resulting threats that he levied. Through all of this Moses knew that God would be with him and what the end result would be.

Though we don’t always know the entirety of what God’s plan is for our lives or how deliverance will come for us - even in the toughest of times, we have God’s assurance.

He will never leave and never forsake us. That very knowledge must inform our actions and our continued faith in Him. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5)

Let’s move right to the last plague and the chaos that ensued.

According to specific instructions, the Israelites prepared roasted lamb as their last meal. They marked the doorposts of their home with the blood of the lamb which provided them with safety from the Death Angel. The next morning the Egyptians, who had lost their firstborn sons in the night, overcome with grief and anger were glad to see the backs of the Israelites as they left Egypt.

Despite all the lies, deceit, and rule changes, God was ready for all of it. He prepared Moses with the words to say, the direction to go, and the means to take the Israelites forward. The story is well known of what happened after the Israelites left Egypt. Pharaoh decided that he wanted the Israelites to come back. But God saw that coming too. He made a highway through the Red Sea. That highway acted as a means of deliverance for Israel. It also was a deathtrap for the enemy. On the other side Miriam who had witnessed the miracle of Moses’ deliverance from the Nile River, the protection from the plagues, the defense from the Death Angel, and now the phenomenon of the Red Sea highway, couldn’t hold back the praise that was in her soul. She began to dance and play the tambourine, singing a song of praise to God. She had seen a lifetime of desperate situations overturned in an instant and it was now time for celebration.

Stay steady. Stay strong. The Lord our God is with us wherever we go! He has promised that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I in the midst.” (Matthew 18:20)

The same situation that derails some can act as a four-lane highway for the people of God. Let’s give God praise because He has brought us safe thus far!

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