Moses and the children of Israel had been brought out of their four hundred years of bondage from within the land of Egypt by God’s mighty hand. “GOD led the people…And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night” (Exodus 13:18, 21, NKJV).
God led His people, gaining honor as Israel knew that He was the Lord their Great God. The Egyptians AND all who heard knew as well that He was the Great God to whom none compare! Moses sang:
“Who among the gods is like YOU, O LORD? Who is like YOU— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? …In YOUR unfailing love YOU will lead the people YOU have redeemed. In YOUR strength YOU will guide them to YOUR holy dwelling. The nations will hear and tremble” (Exodus 15:11-14, NIV84) [*SEE NOTE].
Even Jethro the priest of Midian heard and rejoiced, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods” (Exodus 18:11, NKJV)!
Soon thereafter, “there were thunderings and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain…[which] was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire…And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up” (Exodus 19:16-20, NKJV). It was from this mountain that God met with Moses. As Moses met with God, the people incorrectly assumed that Moses was delaying and that God was no longer present with them…they even questioned whether God even existed! They had forgotten that the I AM had led them out from their bondage in Egypt!
I’ve always wondered how something so unforgettable as Israel’s exodus from Eqypt –with the signs and wonders, the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea on dry ground– could be so readily forgotten. But then again, is this something that we really must wonder? Don’t we have a tendency to doubt in moments we incorrectly assume that God is silent? Don’t we forget the unforgettable– that the same I AM who delivered the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt has led us out from our bondage in sin?
Friend, be reminded: God still leads! Do not think that He cannot lead you!
You may be someone who has experienced the glory of the Lord’s presence descending in your “camp” and you’re not sure when His leading will take you onward in your journeys. Don’t assume that He is delaying or has forgotten about you…He still leads! He will do so according to the pleasure of His good will. He will gain honor as you and all who hear will know that it is the Lord your God who leads you!
Alternatively you may be someone who believes that God is not present, that He is not near you or perhaps does not exist. Maybe you’re bound by sin– you can feel the heaviness of the chains, they are strangling you, but you assume that there is no way out, that you’ll never be free. You need to know that He still leads! There is a way out: His name is Jesus. Jesus is able and wants to free you from the bondage of sin! “[I]f the Son [Jesus] makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NASB95)!
“You lead, I’ll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way, You guide me tenderly,
When You lead, I’ll follow, just light the way and I’ll go,
Cause I know what You got for me is more then I can see,
So lead me on…, just lead me on…!” (You Lead, Jamie Grace)
*NOTE: “The emphasis of this verse is God’s uniqueness. The mention of the gods should not be understood to suggest polytheism…The prose/poetry plural ʾĕlōhı̂m is, of course, routinely used to refer to “their [other people’s] gods,” “other gods,” “no gods,” “foreign gods,” and the like. If we were to put words in their mouths, Moses and those who sang this song would have meant by “who among the gods is like you”: “You are infinitely superior to all real and false superhuman beings, including angels heavenly and fallen, and even to what the pagans think their nonexistent gods are.”” (Stuart, Douglas K., “The New American Commentary”, Broadman & Holman Publishers: Nashville, TN, 2006, pp. 354-55).