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Exodus 14:26-31, Pursuers Drowned

Key Verse

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
— Exodus 14:30-31

RCL Daily Devotion for Thursday,
August 29, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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No Enemies, Just People

I've heard it said that history is always told from the perspective of the winners. I have found this to be true. How often have you heard of any of the wars your country has fought in that are described as having failed miserably? Or having been the oppressors? Or having been fought unjustly?

The Israelites credited God with the miraculous, good work of defeating their enemies, the oppressors and aggressors. But what of the Egyptians? What of the women and children who lost their husbands to the sea? What of the communities decimated by the loss of hundreds of their local soldiers? Pharaoh's armies were under the command of Pharaoh. What did Pharaoh lose when he pursued Israel? Power and soldiers, perhaps. But other than his son (who he lost before he pursued Israel), Pharaoh lost little compared to the people he was supposed to protect. Egypt, however, lost everything.

Even today, I think of the people we are fighting. What of their wives and husbands lost to war? What of their communities obliterated by bombings and warfare? We like to believe we are right and just. But our enemies also believe they are right and just. War is not easy. It is not simple. It is complex and destructive for both sides. Perhaps if we saw the enemy as human beings with families, dreams, faith, communities, it might be harder to praise God for wiping them out.

When is fighting appropriate? When is it counter-productive and destructive?

 

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Exodus 14:26-31

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Earlier Event: August 28
Exodus 16:1-21, Bread from Heaven
Later Event: August 30
1 Peter 4:7-11, Rethinking Giftedness