This brief text describes an event that took place during the time when God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. In the previous chapter, we learn that when the children of Israel began their journey, the LORD ‘went before them…’ (Ex. 13:21).
Though they had God’s Presence to guide them, this did not remove their problem. Pharaoh’s army still pursued and eventually caught up with Israel on the shore of the Red Sea. In this time of great fear, the LORD spoke…and then acted (14:19) …”removed and went behind…”. It is good to know that God has your back and will come between you and your trouble! Not also that God’s Presence, which appeared to Israel as a pillar of light, was to the Egyptians as darkness, thus providing protection.
During the Civil War, someone asked President Lincoln whether God was on the side of the Union. Lincoln replied that the better question was whether the Union was on the Lord’s side.
Lesson: Your view of God during times of difficulty depends on which side of God you are on!
Francis R. Havergal wrote a poem in October of 1877. John Gross adapted the words to a German melody and the hymn, WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE, was born.