Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon. Exodus 13:1-9
All along we knew that Pharaoh was keeping the Hebrews back because of the lost labor when they left. They brought out all the chariots and were in hot pursuit of this massive group of Israelites. They really had the upper hand in the matter, except that God was not on their side. He had been watching over this fearful bunch since they arrived in Egypt with Joseph.
Even today the nation of Israel receives a special blessing from God. We all know that if the Lord weren’t on their side they could be wiped out overnight. But God has blessed them with military might and intelligence, innovation, and a will to remain a free nation in that part of the world.
Unfortunately, not many nations stand beside Israel in their right to exist as a nation. All those who oppose her are like the Egyptians in pursuit of the Israelites who were on foot. The Egyptians should have been able to wipe them out completely because the Hebrews are unarmed and on foot, but as we’ll see, that’s not what happened.
May God continue to bless nations who bless Israel.