Messianic Education Trust
(Ex 13:14 - 17:16)

Shemot/Exodus 14:9   And the Egyptians pursued them and overtook them, camped at the sea

Nachmanides, the Who Is ...

Ramban: Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman of Gerona or Nachmanides (1194-1270 CE), Spanish rabbi, author and physician; defended Judaism in the Christian debates in Barcelona before making aliyah
Ramban, points out that this was towards the end of the sixth day of our freedom from Egypt. Who Is ...

Hirsch: Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888 CE), German rabbi, author and educator; staunch opponent of the Reform movement in Germany and one of the fathers of Orthodox Judaism
Hirsch adds that although it took the Israelites six days to accomplish this journey because of the flocks and herds with them, the Egyptians had covered the same ground in only two days because they were travelling in chariots with fast horses (cf v6). The physical proximity of their so-recently ex-captors caused our people to panic so that they cried out to G-d and gave Moshe his first chewing out - the honeymoon was over! The word the Torah uses , from the root , which has a range of meanings from the simple "to reach", through "overtake, go beyond", as far as "acquire or obtain", shows how real the threat seemed - as our people saw the Egyptian chariots bearing down on them, they felt their precious new freedom evaporate like the dawn mist on a hot day - an ignominious return to slavery back in Egypt seemed to be beckoning only too clearly.

During a time of war between Aram and Israel (the northern kingdom), "the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses" (2 Kings 6:14, NLT) in order to capture the prophet Elisha. "When the servant of the man of G-d got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses and chariots everywhere. 'Ah, my lord, what will we do now?' he cried out" (v15, NLT). Elisha's servant thought that the game was up: that he and his master would be captured and killed; he couldn't see any way out. But "'Don't be afraid!' Elisha told him. 'For there are more on our side than on theirs.' Then Elisha prayed, 'O L-rd, open his eyes and let him see!' The L-rd opened his servant's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire" (v16-17, NLT). The servant couldn't see things from the same perspective as Elisha until the L-rd opened his eyes.

Yochanan the Shaliach wrote, "You, children, are from G-d and have overcome the false prophets, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, CJB). G-d's Ruach, the Spirit of Yeshua who lives in us, is greater than the Adversary and all the forces of evil in the world. We simply need to be reminded of it, so that we continue to look at things from the right perspective.

The writer to the Hebrews adds, "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1, NASB). Those who have gone before, from Avraham Avinu (our father Avraham) to the current day, are not only examples of seeing the world through G-d's eyes of faith, but also encouraging us (though unheard on earth) from the spiritual realms to press on and know that G-d is in control.

Further Study: Luke 16:27-28; John 3:31-36

Application: Which perspective have you been using to view your life and the situations and circumstances you find yourself in? Find the time today to ask G-d to help you see the world afresh through His eyes.

© Jonathan Allen, 2005

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