And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exodus 14:23)
The path that Israel followed through the midst of the sea also served to protect them from Pharaoh. In other words, his only option was to pursue after them and face the hazards that awaited him. While we understand that God hardened his heart in order to get “honor over Pharaoh,” still, consider just what possesses a man to do such a thing. After witnessing all of God’s power, why would he think that it was a wise thing to follow after them?
Rabbinical commentary states that the splitting of the sea did not impress him as an act of the LORD but saw it as an anomaly of nature. Commentators also contend that the Pillar of Cloud and Fire made no impression on him either. That seems hard to believe but, surely, you have met those who saw what they wanted to see and believed what they wanted to believe in spite of the evidence before them. And so just as God sent a strong wind that meant deliverance for His people and destruction for His enemies, God will send strong delusion to those who have no use for the truth. Paul elaborated on this saying:
“Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved … God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
Just as the Egyptians were plunged into complete darkness and could not discern what was happening, so too will the wicked of this world be confounded by God’s deeds. They will believe a lie to be true and the truth to be a lie. Like Pharaoh, they will go forward into the darkness being led astray by their deceitful hearts. By the time they realize what has happened, it will be too late.
Their fate should not cause us to be happy; instead it should prompt us, as never before, to be a light to those in darkness in the hope that some will come into that light. Furthermore, knowing this should not compel us to be lazy about our own destiny. We must continue to be diligent in our walk, keeping our eyes on the path that He has set before us. As Paul said, we are no longer in darkness but now are in the light of the Lord. Therefore we should, “Walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8).
Blessings and Shalom,