There is an old saying in various parts of the world that “An east wind blows no good.” An “east wind” has become something almost synonymous with hardships, storms and trouble of the worst kind. Remarkably, Scripture shows us that God can even use an east wind to bring us good!
We find the story in Exodus 14, as Moses and the Israelites were fleeing slavery in Egypt. Though they were headed to the Promised Land, a place of rest and of freedom, their journey was not trouble-free. In fact, as they moved forward toward the Red Sea, according to Exodus 14:10, they looked up to see the Egyptian army in hot pursuit! Their immediate reaction was to doubt God’s leadership, saying to Moses: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” They actually felt that remaining in slavery and bondage would have been preferable to following God to freedom if it meant this much trouble. Lest we judge them too harshly, I have seen this to be true many times in our own lives. We trust God to free us in one area; our enemy closes in from another; and the whole thing seems so daunting as to make us wonder if we shouldn’t have just left well enough alone in the first place! But God wants us free!
Though Moses encouraged the people that God would indeed fight for them and that they only needed to be still and wait for Him to work, all the Israelites could see at that moment was the impossible barrier of the sea before them, mountains to either side and the Egyptian army behind them. And as if that were not bad enough, an east wind began to blow — a final indication that they were being cursed for challenging the status quo and for daring to think that God could give them a different life. What they did not know was that God was using that east wind to blow back the sea and make an open path for them in the midst of it! His message to them was to trust Him and to “move on”!
By God’s miraculous intervention, all Israel passed through the impossible obstacle that had blocked their path. The same east wind they feared had been used to bring them good! Once they were safe on the other side, the wind ceased and the waters returned, destroying the very enemies who had been pursuing them. The people of God stood to sing their praises in what is known as the Song of Moses. In Exodus 15:2 they declare:
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him …”
There are times in our own lives when we are on the point of being overwhelmed. As Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, we are hard pressed on every side, but we are not crushed; we may be perplexed, but we are not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Human wisdom tries to tell us that an east wind of hardship, distress and trial can bring no good, but God can use that very wind to deliver us from our enemies and bring us to safety. All we need to do is to trust Him and “move on”!
Blessings on your day!
© November 19th 2018