No. 269. Thanksgiving for His wrap around love.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 269. Thanksgiving for His wrap around love.

When the Israelites were travelling through the wilderness, they had the most amazing visual aid of God’s surrounding presence. God made sure that they knew He was with them. ‘By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.’ Exodus 13:21,22. When they needed guidance and direction, there was the manifest presence of the Lord ahead of them, leading them onwards.

Then when they reached the Red Sea, and they couldn’t go forward, they panicked, (and who wouldn’t?) because the Egyptian army was closing in on them from behind. We then see an even more vivid picture of the Lord’s protection of His people. ‘Then the angel of God, who had been travelling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other; so that neither went near the other all night long.’ Exodus 14:19,20. Now –  when they needed it –  the manifest presence of God was protecting them from behind.

They had to grow in faith and trust that God would be there all through that night and that somehow, trapped as they were, God was going to make a way for them where there was no way. They maybe hoped the Egyptians would get tired and go home, or that the angel of the Lord in the fiery pillar would chase them away, or even go through the Egyptian camp and burn it up. Whatever hope they had, they could not possibly have imagined what was going to happen next.

We, of course, can because we’ve probably seen it on film with CGI, but take a step back and imagine what it was like. Nothing could have prepared them for this. As Moses stretched out his hand ‘the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry land with a wall of water on their right and on their left.’ Exodus 14:21,22.

The Lord makes a way to give them safe passage away from their enemies. He opens a way in front, hides them from behind, and He even provided them with a wall on each side. A wall of water that collapsed in onto the Egyptian army when they tried to follow. It is no wonder that Miriam, Moses sister and a prophetess, took hold of her tambourine and led the dancing as they all sang their songs of deliverance. Exodus 15:20. The Lord goes before them, behind them and defends them from both sides too. I think that is called ‘all round protection’. They feel as if they are surrounded, but they are surrounded by Him.

I, in my lifetime, have never seen that kind of physical manifestation of the Lord surrounding me with His protection, but we are called to ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB. And I know that there have been many deliverances in my life, those I have been aware of, and many I believe that I have been unaware of, that the Lord, in His graciousness, has provided.

Looking at Psalm 62:2 in The Passion Translation we read ‘He alone is my safe place; his wrap around presence always protects me; there is no risk of failure with God, He is my champion defender’, and in verse 7, ‘God’s glory is all around me! His wrap around presence is all I need, for the Lord is my Saviour, my Hero, and my life giving strength’.

So how do we ‘walk by faith’ and not by sight in these things? How do we live trusting in the Lord’s ‘wraparound’ twenty four seven care for us? I believe it is as we glean from His word the truth about who He wants to be for His people, and we thank Him for it. And, as we thank Him, I believe our ‘spiritual eyes will be opened to ‘see’ His hand in our lives, and so, like David, we will be praising Him for our daily deliverances, for ‘daily bearing our burdens, and being to us a God of deliverances’ Psalm 68:19,20 NASB.


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