Miracle All The Way

by George F Spall

When God's time had arrived to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt He demonstrated His mighty power and gave His servant Moses explicit instructions for the redemption of the nation. The Great Escape could be described as a Moonlight Flit, for God timed the whole operation so that it was just that.

A military man has worked out the logistics of the escape as follows: approximately 2½ million people would need 900 tons of food per day for themselves and their animals, 2,400 tons of fuel, and two million gallons of water. They had to cross a desert which saw the defeat of the Egyptian army in four days in 1967. Such a column as they would make marching five abreast would be 230 miles long. So it needed MIRACLE ALL THE WAY.


We read the account of the redemption of God's people from Egypt in Exodus chapters 12 and 13 -- of the taking of the lamb; of the sprinkled blood on doorposts and lintel; of the preparedness and haste of the people; of the death of the Egyptian firstborn, of the passing over of the angel of death to save the Israelites. And how thoughtful is our God: " ... God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.' So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Reed Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 13:17,18).

The Reed Sea was an extension of what is today the Gulf of Suez which is now silted up compared with what it was then. Reeds did grow on its shores but it was not a sea of reeds. It did require God-directed heavy wind all night to create a passage on dry ground for the great crowd to march over during the night. And the water was deep enough to drown even horses when the wind ceased!


Although redemption was the major miracle God performed for His people, redemption itself involved other great miracles — the Egyptians' willingness to hand over "articles of silver, and articles of gold, and clothing" (probably recompense for unpaid wages over many years); the hardening of Pharaoh's heart "so that he will pursue them" , their standing still to "see the salvation of the LORD ... for the Egyptians whom you see today, you will see again no more for ever." And finally "the Angel of God ... moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night" (Exodus 15:13,19,20). Protection indeed! MIRACLE ALL THE WAY.

The plight of the fleeing people humanly speaking had justified their complaint to Moses: " ... it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness." They had already forgotten their past, barely three days away; they feared the present, a full Egyptian army of it; they faced a bleak future, a whole desert full of it. But God through Moses said; "Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD ...The LORD will fight for you ... Tell the children of Israel to go forward ... on dry ground through the midst of the sea" (Exodus 14:12,13,15,16).

Miracle 3: WATER and WIND

" ... and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided ... and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left" (Exodus 14:21,22). Notice that God used natural means to perform this miracle, using the laws of nature -- reminding us that He still often works that way, especially healing by Surgery and Medicine -- our God very much at work.

And the change of wind that caused the drowning of the Egyptians was a miracle of timing — it was when "all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen were in the midst of the sea," that "the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army … He took off their chariot wheels … and said to Moses, 'Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen'" (14:23-26).

Miracle 4: BITTER and SWEET

Travelling for three days and coming to bad water produced in the people of God Grumble Fever. Faith would have looked expectantly to God after the miracles already experienced by them, but the bitter waters of Marah (meaning bitter) tripped up their faith in God, and another miracle was needed. So Moses cried out to the Lord, "and the LORD showed him a tree; and when he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet" (15:25). God even added as a bonus another miracle when He promised: "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you" (15:26).

Miracle 5: PROVISION

'Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you ... and it shall be on the sixth day (of the week) that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily'" (16:4,5), which was obviously a miracle of provision. Although sceptics would suggest that the manna (meaning what is it?) might be gum exuded from a tree, this makes no sense when we remember that the manna fell on the ground, and twice as much of Fridays and none on Saturdays, nor is vegetation so profuse in the desert as to provide 900 tons per day, and for forty years! "And the children of Israel ate manna forty years until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of Canaan" (16:35).

Meat also was provided miraculously each evening in the form of small birds -- quails -- the miracle aspect most surely the fact that there was always just enough for all the camp.

Once again God produced a miracle when Grumble Fever struck once more, this time at Rephidim. "'Give us water, that we may drink ... Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?' So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, 'What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.' And the LORD said to Moses, 'Go on before the people ... take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river ... I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink'" (17:2-6). Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth had this to say: "For they drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah." And He had to be stricken only once to provide life-giving flow!


Imagine it! After provision of food, both bread and meat, as well as water and a rest time at Elim, "Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim" -- the challenge of enemies. God did not command Moses to go out to fight -- Joshua would do that, just as forty years later he was to be commander-in-chief of the conquest of Canaan. "And Moses said to Joshua, 'Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand' ... And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side ... so Joshua defeated Amalek" (17:8-13).


Just as it took the miracle of the parting of the Reed Sea to get Israel out of Egypt, so it took a miracle to part the waters of the River Jordan for them to possess their possessions in Canaan.

Forty years had passed -- forty wasted years, for had they obeyed God at Kadesh Barnea they might have had a mere eleven-day safari to claim their inheritance in Canaan. All who were twenty years old and upwards who had rebelled against Moses at Kadesh Barnea had been doomed to die in the wilderness.

But now an even worse situation confronted them. Moses their great leader was dead. The River Jordan was in full flood and had overflowed its banks. The melting snow waters of Mount Hermon were a raging torrent as Joshua commanded the priests to take up the Ark of the Covenant and wade into the torrent. "And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the Ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap. So it was ... and the people crossed over opposite Jericho" (Joshua 3:13-16).

Surely, no other nation has participated in as many miracles as has Israel. And now their rebirth in 1948 and survival since against overwhelming odds and numerous enemies mark them as God's demonstration people -- for nearly four thousand years it's been MIRACLE ALL THE WAY.