Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 104

God's Protective Cloud in the Desert, April 7

Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us? Exodus 14:11.

There is a lesson of the greatest importance for us in the experience of the children of Israel as they left Egypt. More than a million people had been led out of the right course, as many of them thought, into a valley hemmed in by mountains. Before them lay the Red Sea, and behind them, following fast after in pursuit, was Pharaoh's host.

In the beginning of their march the children of Israel had been guided by a cloud. Ignorant and superstitious because of their long years of bondage in a land of superstition, the people looked upon this cloud with wonder. Some regarded it with fear, while others declared that it was a favorable omen. As the people were encamped beside the sea, they saw in the distance the flashing armor and moving chariots of Pharaoh's host. Terror filled their hearts. Some cried unto the Lord, but by far the greater part hastened to Moses with their complaints....

Moses was greatly troubled that his people should manifest so little faith in God, notwithstanding they had repeatedly witnessed the manifestation of His power in their behalf.... True, there was no possibility of deliverance unless God Himself should interpose for their release, but having been brought into this position in obedience to the divine direction, Moses felt no fear of the consequences. His calm and assuring reply to the people was “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” ...

It was not an easy thing to hold the hosts of Israel in waiting before the Lord. Lacking discipline and self-control, they became violent and unreasonable.... The wonderful pillar of cloud had been followed as the signal of God to go forward; but now they questioned if it might not foreshadow some great calamity, for had it not led them on the wrong side of the mountain, into an impassable way? ...

But now, as the Egyptian host approached them, expecting to make them an easy prey, the cloudy column arose majestically, passed over the Israelites, and descended between them and the armies of Egypt. A wall of darkness interposed between the pursued and their pursuers. The Egyptians could no longer discern the camp of the Hebrews and were forced to halt. But as the darkness of night deepened, the wall of cloud became a great light to the Hebrews, flooding the entire encampment with the radiance of day. That which had been a terror to the people had become their protection.—Manuscript 6a, 1903.

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