SCRIPTURE: Exodus 14:19 (TM) – larger reading Exodus 14:19-31
The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear.
Harry S. Truman said: Men who live in the past remind me of a toy I'm sure all of you have seen. The toy is a small wooden bird called the "Floogie Bird." Around the Floogie Bird's neck is a label reading, "I fly backwards, I don't care where I'm going. I just want to see where I've been."
The Hebrew people were escaping their captivity. Leading them was a Cloud by day and a Fire by night. They were being chased by the Egyptian army. A challenge laid ahead – the Sea of Reeds. They could return to their former slave status or move forward. Reading the entire exodus journey through the desert a discovery is made that often faced with the hardships of their present journey they often longed to return to the life they once had, even though they had cried to the Lord to be rescued when living that life. They were flying backwards.
Such is life. It seems easier to fly backwards. Remember those old station wagons where the rear seat faced backwards. It was easier for the children, who were normally relegated to that rear seat, to get in and out. Do you remember why the auto industry stopped making those wagons? It was unsafe, especially in rear end crashes.
So – is it wise to fly backwards? Is it easier to see where we have been or where we are going? Does it give us peace of mind to see the enemy that is chasing us or the challenges that confront us?
The Hebrew people had to learn a hard lesson – trust the Cloud/Fire… and their God given leadership. The Cloud was to protect them, as it did on this occasion. The Fire shows the way when darkness engulfs our vision. We can fly aimlessly along enjoying the view and blissfully end up in trouble or… well you can fill in the rest.
Enjoy the journey it was designed by God and remember, the land of promise is in the future not in the past.
Trying to fly forward all the time is a little challenging, but with your help it will work.