TODAY’S READING: Exodus 13–15
The God of wrath (“the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,” Exo. 13:15) lovingly led and lit His people out of bondage (v. 21). Because God usually doesn’t lead us along conventional paths (14:3), others seek to attack what God is doing. Every danger and every criticism should be seen as an opportunity for God to gain glory. Three times in one chapter, God stated: “The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord [Jehovah]” (14:4, 18, 25).
Walter Kaiser comments: “There can be little mistaking the fact that the word ‘know’ here connotates more than a mere cognitive awareness of who God is. It expresses a desire that the Egyptians might themselves come to a personal and experiential knowledge of who Yahweh is. God would proclaim his own name among the Gentiles, even if the Israelites were not outgoing in their witness.” God is always calling the peoples of earth to Himself, even when we run from them in fear. The whole process in Exodus was intended to turn God’s people from serving and fearing the nations so that God can use them as His instruments of blessing to those nations: “The following months and years would see Israel on a steep learning curve, but by the end of it their worldview would be changed forever. They would know who was truly God in Egypt (and everywhere else).”
Glimmers of this confidence emerged from the song of Moses. The people of God raised their heads as the shame and fear rolled off with the waters of the receding sea. They had just seen the strongest army of the day with the best technology of the time completely overwhelmed with one breath of God. And so they sang, that Jehovah was their God and they would praise Him. They sang that Jehovah was their father’s God and they would exalt Him (15:2). This reference to lineage—all the way back to Abraham—was of course linked to God’s promises to Abraham. The God of strength (v. 2) was the God of glory (v. 6) was the God of wrath (v. 7) was the God who would send His fear and dread ahead of His people into Palestine and Jordan (v. 15) and all nations of the world.
In the understanding of the day, each city/nation had a territorial god who fought for their principality and subjects. “Terror, or fear, was assumed to be separate substance which went before the deity, defeating enemies before the god arrived.” Jehovah obliterates all tribal gods and indeed His terrifying and wooing Spirit goes ahead of us in missions to all corners of the world. God’s representatives can walk into the Jordans of the world, look confidently and graciously into the eyes of temporal monarchs, and boldly proclaim the gospel because the Spirit of God already invaded and inspired reverence. Our ambassadorial role is merely to find those that Jehovah has already conquered.
 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Mission in the Old Testament: Israel As a Light to the Nations. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2000. 21.
 Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. 76.
 The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 87.