Oct 09

Turn back

Tag: UncategorizedRLW3 @ 5:02 pm

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. Isaiah 40:27-28 (NKJV)

Isaiah clarifies that God’s apparent lack of support in our life is not caused by fatigue or a lack of strength or ability on His part. He is the mighty God who does whatever He pleases. (Psa. 115:3)

One thing that we must keep before us is that God is not always expedient or efficient from a human perspective. Let’s look at one example that has been “written before…for our learning.” (Rom. 15:4)

Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea.”   Exodus 14:1-2

Turn back? Did God suddenly got a better idea? Was He preoccupied and missed the turn the first time? The natural human response would be to flee as far away from Egypt as possible as quickly as possible. Pi Hahiroth was not the next logical stop for Israel on their way out of Egypt. They had to turn back to get there! 

Let’s look at what God where God led Israel…

…Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon

“Migdol means “watchtower.” More specifically, it is believed to be the site of an ancient military watchtower. Ancient armies placed watchtowers on prominent hills overlooking strategic terrain, so let us assume that Migdol is a hill. If Migdol is a hill, then the Israelites camped between a hill and the sea. They camped “before” the hill, so it was nearby.1 

Baal-zephon means “Lord of the North.” Its name is perhaps derived from the Canaanite god Baal-zephon who watches over mariners. According to Dr. Kyle McCarter of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. James Hoffmeier of Wheaton College, Baal-zephon is believed to be a coastal mountain, a mountain that is next to the sea.The Israelites camped opposite and before a mountain that is next to the sea. If the Israelites camped on the shore between a prominent hill and the sea, yet were opposite and before (or in the presence of) a mountain that is next to the sea, the mountain was across the water, in clear view of the Israelite camp.”2 For a fascinating study of the location, please see “Only One Place.”

This was not a safe place to camp! Yet God specifically led them there. And He made led them in such a way that everyone would know that it was not an accident. The sole reason Israel camped at Pi-Hahiroth was for His purpose and pleasure. 

God seems to like places like Pi-Hahiroth. Why do I say that? Because He seems to direct me to them fairly frequently. Perhaps this is what King David was referring to when he said “He MAKES me to lie down in green pastures.” (Psa. 23:2)

Why would God have to MAKE us lie down in green pastures? Perhaps because us dumb sheep don’t recognize it as a green pasture? Perhaps, to a sheep, it looks like a place fraught with danger?

But to God, it looks altogether different.

  1. http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/redsea1.html, Oct., 2008 []
  2. http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/3021/redsea1.html, Oct., 2008 []

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