And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
Exodus 14:17 (KJV)
Get me honor – How was God going to be honored by the pursuit of Pharaoh and his soldiers? We might suggest that God was going to be honored by their death in the Reed Sea. But I don’t think that’s the case. There’s a relationship to another story in Genesis that will reveal God’s meaning here. Let’s take a look.
In order to discover this other story we need to think about a time when there was another procession of Israelites leaving Egypt. During that procession, they were accompanied by Egyptians and soldiers, they went on a long journey, and even the Canaanites marveled at the occurrence. When was that time?
It was the burial procession of Jacob.
|Burial procession of Jacob||Exodus procession of Israel|
|Honoring their earthly father.
|Honoring their heavenly father.
|Had to cross the Jordan river to get to Atad.
|Had to cross the Jordan river to get to the Promised Land.
|Israelites left their children and livestock.
|Pharaoh wanted Moses to leave their children and livestock.
|Canaanites witnessed the procession of mourning.
|Canaanites witnessed the procession of joy.
|Pharaoh sent an honor guard.
|Where was Pharaoh’s honor guard?|
Do you see the similarities? But this second procession from Egypt didn’t include Pharaoh’s honor guard. This Pharaoh chose not to respect the wishes of the heavenly father unlike his predecessor who respected the wishes of the earthly father, Jacob. Rather than joining with the Israelites and sharing in their blessings, this Pharaoh chose to stand against them.
Well YHVH made sure they would accompany this procession as well. YHVH was to be honored with the same procession that honored Jacob in one way or another. And so Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and Pharaoh and all his army pursued, and in a way, joined the procession.
Where do we stand in this procession today? Do we join with Israel and God’s chosen people? Or do we stand against them? Either way, God will make sure He is honored. I pray that we are standing on the right side. For that to happen, we need a soft heart made of flesh where the spirit of our Father may dwell.