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Fearful Deliverance

The Children of Israel were on the eve of deliverance
The Angel of death was preparing for his flight
The Egyptians that now feared them gave them their gold and jewels
While they packed their meagre possessions and readied their animals
The people were baking unleavened bread in their ovens
Roasting a lamb over the fire for their final meal in Egypt,
They took the blood and with hyssop
Painted red the door posts and lintels of their homes
They all sat around the meal in anticipation
They had their shoes on, ready and waiting to go
God was going to do a miracle that night
There would be slavery no more.
They sat and talked of the plagues that had preceded
They rejoiced that God had spared them- the sons of Jacob
The sat and listened for the trumpet that would call them
They feasted and waited, wondering what would happen next
In the stillness of the midnight a cry was heard,
Another and another, fear gripped their hearts,
Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, the noise of bitter sorrow
Piercing the darkness for several hours the cries went on and on
There was a knock at the door, all cowed in fear
Was it soldiers coming to end their woeful lives?
The father ventured and cracked open the door
Outside was their Egyptian neighbour holding his limp firstborn son
"Go, be gone. Just go and leave us,
Take what you need, before we all are dead men"
The door opened wider, the sight was chilling
Dead and dying lying all around the streets
A black shroud moving past the moon obscuring it's light like a shadow
The death Angel was passing by
The noise like the wail of a siren sent shivers down his spine
He shut the door hurriedly, muffling the anguish
Soon it would be dawn - the morning of salvation.

As the light broke through the darkness
Dispelling the Angel of Death
A trumpet sounded calling them together
They were on the street in an instant,
The Egyptians peered out of their windows beholding the procession
On the outside of the city over on the plain
A bright cloud hovered like a pillar, drawing the people to it
They hurried and wondered at the sight,
The numbers quickly swelled
Old and young, rich and poor, the strong and the feeble
Then when all were gathered, the cloud lifted and moved
It headed east to toward the rising of the sun
They followed the first steps in their new adventure
The first steps of freedom.

But Pharaoh was stubborn - all his servants had disappeared
No one to cook his meals and cater to his whims
And what about my treasure cities I will have to hire Egyptians!"
He suddenly realized what he had done
The whole economy was at a stand still
Letting them go was a monumental mistake
“Have my chariot made ready, I will bring them back
I will have no mercy this time”
He called together his first born depleted army
And followed the tracks of feet in the sand

By this time Moses was standing by the seaside
The first vacation ever,
Enjoying the sea breeze and the sun…
But a cloud of dust arose in the distance
Horses riders, chariots and soldiers
Trapping them against the ocean
The pillar of cloud rose and moved to the back
A barrier between them and their foes
A dark shadow spread over the Egyptians,
A mist covering their eyes,
The tramp of feet died away the army had stopped
Moses heard a voice say, “Smite the water”
The ripple of the rod that displaced the water grew
With a mighty roar the water split like hands ripping paper
Until the water was heaped up on both sides
A channel was in front of them - a way to pass over
They ran with the clatter of all their belongings
God had provided an escape route, a path across the sea
The pillar of cloud gave out light across the sea as night fell
But the Egyptians could not see anything

As day broke the Egyptians could not believe their eyes
Those they thought were trapped weren't there
They saw their quarry escaping through a watery path
Madness filled their souls-"How dare they escape"

"Forward", Pharaoh yelled and rushed down to the sea side
Into the passage they all chased their prey
They grew steadily closer, right at their heals
The Israeli’s heard the familiar crack of the whips
Making them hurry as fast as they could
The chariot wheels loosened, they became hard to handle
Drivers were crashing together as they strayed from their course
The rush of the hunt turned into the chaos of a rush-hour pile-up
Those in the front suddenly came to their senses
Suddenly fear gripped each of their hearts
The last of the slaves had reached the other side
Those leading the army tried to turn around back the way they came
But were pushed still forward by the surge of those behind
Pharaoh yelled "Retreat", but it was too late
The noise of the ocean drowned out the urgency of the cry
As the crash of the returning water silenced them forever

The children of Israel stood on the shore looking back
As the waves settled back to their normal ebb and flow
Their mouths wide open
While the enormity of what happened finally sunk in
They were free, without one scratch
God had conquered an army

While they held their children in their arms

A cheer went up from the people
They sang and they danced
No longer were they to be slaves
No more did they build cities for their masters
They could serve God without hindrance
They were free, free at last

8 April 2007

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
© Stephen Share 2006

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