Fake or false news is not a new phenomenon. The Chicago Tribune’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline in 1948 was a one of the worse newspaper gaffes in history. The New York Sun headlined the 1916 was another one. They announced the election of Charles Evans Hughes as the nation’s 29th president; but the victory went to Woodrow Wilson. Twenty years later, the Literary Digest poll, which had an excellent track record for presidential predictions, polled 10 million Americans. The result showed Alf Landon defeating Franklin Roosevelt by a comfortable margin. But on Election Day, Roosevelt trounced Landon, sweeping all but two states.
If a poll had been taken in Egypt during Moses’ dealings with Pharaoh (Exodus 14:1-22), a majority would have picked Pharaoh over Moses. Humanly speaking, it was no contest. But such a poll would have overlooked the most significant ‘Player’ in the drama, the God of Moses! It would seem that after the 10 plagues which God sent against Egypt, Pharaoh would have learned a lesson. But as the Israelites pressed against the Red Sea, the Egyptian ruler decided to take one more desperate shot at winning. What he didn’t realize was that he was playing into the hands of God (vv. 1-4).
Only a person whose heart was hardened would issue the command that Pharaoh issued, summoning the armies of Egypt to pursue the seemingly defenseless Israelites. But since God is no more impressed with numbers and armed might than He is with human opinion, He was able to lock down Pharaoh’s entire army with a “pillar of the cloud.” Throughout the night, that cloud guarded the Israelites.
The story of the Red Sea’s parting is so familiar with many of us that we don’t need to recount it step by step. What’s interesting is the people’s reaction to the event that, more than any other, signaled their freedom from Egypt. They weren’t exactly in a victorious mood or in a very trusting one either (vv. 10-12). But the faithfulness of God and their obedience brought about this great beginning for the people of Israel in spite of themselves. They saw only the desert; Moses saw the divine Deliverer!
Perhaps, like the Israelites — who looked at the Red Sea and saw the dust of Pharaoh’s chariots—you are facing an obstacle which seems insurmountable. Maybe you’ve taken a poll to see if a victory is possible and the answer is ‘No way!’ Remember, God is not limited by what you can see. He is the ‘Divine’ Factor that can change the outcome of any situation! Cast your care upon Him. You will see (v. 14) “the Lord shall fight for you!”
The writer is the pastor at First Baptist Church, 309 E. North St., Sidney.