“And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.”
– Exodus 14:19
Pharaoh was now in pursuit of Moses and the Hebrews. When the nation of Israel saw the vast Egyptian army, they became afraid. And even though they were slaves in Egypt, they desired to go back to that land and continue in that lifestyle. They had no idea what was ahead for them, so they wished to turn back and live the life they’ve always known, even though God had so much more for them. God was giving them freedom.
When Paul was writing to the Ephesians, he begins describing the armor of the Christian. When reading this, you will notice that he never describes anything that covers the back. This is because we are to press forward and never look back. It is also because God not only goes before us, He is our rear guard!
Like the nation of Israel here, there will be many occasions where God leads us away from situations and people that we should not be involved with. He will tell us to move forward into places we have never been, and they will be uncomfortable and unfamiliar, but they will never enslave us like the ways of this world.
Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). As we head out on this road of the Christian walk, our sinful desires often draw us back into slavery over and over again. And, because it is our comfort zone, we tend to want to remain in places and situations we should not be in. But we must move forward.
As a Christian, do you find yourself in a place or situation you know you should not be? Do you want to move forward but are afraid of what is ahead, so you remain with what you have always known? God told Moses, “Tell the children of Israel to move forward.” Is God speaking to your heart and telling you to do the same? If so, move forward and do not look back.
“For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
– Isaiah 52:12