God went before his people as they left Egypt. This was not only to guide them but also to protect them. The position at the front is the most dangerous.
God had a plan to save his people and bring himself glory. He led them into a situation where they could not save themselves—trapped by the sea and mountains with Pharaoh’s army coming. The people complained. They didn’t like being helpless. But Moses told them, “The Lord will fight for you” (Exodus 14:14).
The key battle maneuver came when the Angel of God moved from in front of the Israelites to a place between them and the Egyptians—the new point of danger. Then the people moved forward as God made a path through the sea. It was a thrilling rescue. The final verse of chapter 14 and the first verse of chapter 15 tell us four things about the people: (1) They saw God’s power, (2) they were filled with awe, (3) they put their faith in God, and (4) they worshiped him.
Our situation was once just as helpless. The eternal death we deserve because of sin was fast approaching. But our Lord fought for us. While we were still sinners—like those complaining Israelites—Jesus went to the dangerous place. He died there to rescue us from certain death.
We don’t like being helpless either. We’d like to take some credit for our escape from death and sin. But Jesus saved us in spite of ourselves, while we were helpless. As we see this, we too are filled with awe. Our faith in Jesus grows too, and we too worship him as our Savior.