We have been walking away from Egypt for days now. It is hard to believe that we are finally free. I don’t suppose we really know what that means yet; someday we will. At least I hope I will. Ben, Asa, and Zeporah have formed a marching cluster along with Linda, Richard, and their children. Like most of us, I am in a daze walking quietly and thinking about what just happened.
God has appeared as a spirit cloud, a pillar of holy fire leading us to His Kingdom, His Promise Land of immortality. We are told that it is a land that flows with milk and honey, a land of peace. To be honest such a land, I can’t imagine. So I walk and I think about the days of miracles before the son, the son of Pharaoh died and we were released from bondage.
It all began when the man of God showed that he had power over the serpent. He had a rod that turned into a snake when he placed it on the ground. But when he picked it up it was a rod again! And even when the serpent tried to lure him by offering to turn stones to bread, or offer him all the kingdoms of the world the man of God simply grabbed that serpent by the tail and turned it into a tool. That is what I call power over evil.
The next thing that happened, if I can remember correctly is that water turned to blood, or was it water turned to wine. I don’t remember which, but it was the first real miracle. The villagers chattered about it for days. That man of God he knew how to get attention, he did.
After that, he healed people right and left from all that could hurt them even biting ants and blood sucking gadflies. People were hurt, people were healed.
Then he, that miracle-making man of God turned to what matters to most of us, our stomachs! First, he did something that killed all the livestock then he fed thousands on bread and fish. That wasn’t the end of it. He proved that through God he even had power over nature. First, he stretched out his hand and hail fell from the heavens on humans and animals and on the whole land of Egypt and then such thunder as man has never heard. I thought I would go deaf. Thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. It rained hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it. I truly thought I would die. But with as much authority over nature he calmed the sea and even walked on it!
As if that wasn’t frightening enough we lived through three days of darkness and then the son died. Now poof! Here we are walking away from the only world we ever knew. We can leave that world with our feet, but can we leave it with our minds and with our hearts? I don’t know; that will take a true transformation. Maybe that’s why this journey must take so long. This army, this people of God, need time to become the kind of people who can live free in the Promise Land.
Oh! Where are we now? We stopped. Ah looks like we are camping by this sea tonight. I am ready to stop walking. My legs are sore. What is this I hear? The Egyptian army is coming after us! What will we do now? Be calm, God is with us. Let me run up to the front to see what is happening so I can tell you. There he is, the man of God. I see him lift up his hands. You will never believe this but the sea is parting! It is time to march again. Here we go. The cloud is leading us through the sea but on dry land. I hear a sound from heaven, a mighty wind. The pillar of fire has dispersed and there is a tongue of fire on each one of us as we walk. All around me I see us pilgrims with tongues of fire over our heads marching through a corridor of water. Solemnly we trudge through mud: man, woman and child hearts absorbing a new and Holy Spirit.
Whew! We are on the other side now. Is everyone here? Yes. Look! The sea has closed up and swallowed our enemy, Saul. There is no turning back now. Onward compatriots, to the new world!