a study through Exodus on how God shapes His leaders
The Israelites walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. But what happened to the Egyptians? What did they do when they saw their former slaves walk straight through the sea? They followed them. They charged right into the Red Sea in pursuit of the Israelites. But was their experience at the bottom of the Red Sea the same as the Israelites? Not quite.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”
The plagues stripped Egypt of her wealth. Her natural resources were gone. All the firstborn were dead. Cattle and livestock were hard to come by. Now the army that followed Pharaoh was gone, and most likely Pharaoh died with them.
God is thorough. In each of the plagues God sent Egypt, there was finality and totality. All the livestock, all the plants, all the water, every firstborn, and now not one soldier in Pharaoh’s select army remained. Every single man and horse that followed the Israelites into the Red Sea died.
This was Egypt’s final blow. It was their grand exit from the pages of Exodus. We no longer read of any problems from Egypt. Their nation was in utter ruins. They lost just about everything all because of the sin of one man—Pharaoh.
Notice who paid the highest price. The soldiers who died in the Red Sea. They paid for Pharaoh’s sin with their own lives. But were they innocent victims? Was God unjust in bringing death to their numbers at the Red Sea?
God is never unjust. Righteousness and justice are His. In our eyes, it may seem unfair, but in God’s perfect perspective it was completely just. Notice who these soldiers were following and why. They followed Pharaoh straight into the Red Sea with the intent of killing or capturing the Israelites—God’s children.
After the ten plagues of Egypt, you would think that the Egyptians would know better than to follow their hard-hearted leader. But these soldiers obviously didn’t think for themselves. So they blindly followed their leader right to the bottom of the Red Sea.
This is an important lesson for us. We must be careful who we follow. Some leaders are bent on going against God and destroying all that He’s trying to accomplish. Their end is destruction and, sadly, they take many of their followers with them to that sad conclusion. Like Pharaoh of Egypt, they consistently strive against God and eventually lead their followers straight to the bottom of the sea, to death and destruction.
Therefore, it is SO important for us to follow the right leaders. Our spiritual and physical well-being is dependent on who we choose to follow. Will we be like the Egyptian soldiers who followed their leader to death, or will we be like the Egyptians who left their country and people and chose to follow Moses and pursue the living God?
The Egyptians were faced with these two choices and so are we. We can choose to continue following our world with its false teachings, faulty ideology, and messed up thinking, or we can choose to follow God. One path leads to death and destruction while the other leads to life.
Which one will you choose?
Let us take heed and learn from the demise of the Egyptians and the lesson the soldiers of Egypt can teach us. And let us choose to daily follow our God, because with Him is life and life more abundantly.