I love to walk along the seashore and feel the sea breeze in my face. The cry of the gulls riding the air currents above the water, waves breaking a short distance out and racing onto shore – it all brings me great pleasure. Recently, I was walking on the beach on Dauphin Island. There were several pieces of driftwood scattered along the sand. They were cast there by some passing storm. They lay gnarled and battered as they bleached in the sun.
My mind moved quickly to a verse of scripture in the Book of Exodus. “And Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the sea shore” (Exodus 14:30b, KJV). The Message Translation renders this passage as, “And Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians.” The great Pharaoh was dead, as dead as the lowest-ranking soldiers in his army. Death had proven to be the great equalizer. John writes in Revelation 20:12, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God …and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books…” The powerful Egyptian potentate had become just another piece of driftwood on the beach of eternity.
He was not in this watery grave by accident, but by the mighty hand of God. He will remain forever a monument to God’s power. This time, Pharaoh is not a monument to God’s power to save, but His power to thwart, to frustrate, to utterly destroy. God will stop a renegade soul from disrupting His divine plan. He will rise up to meet the challenge of a defiant and disobedient soul.
I believe God loved Moses, but I believe He also loved Pharaoh no less. Hear the heart of God in Ezekiel 33:11: “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his ways and live.” 2 Peter 3:9 echoes the same sentiment: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Whatever wreck people make of their lives, it is done by the choices they make, not by a vindictive God.
Pharaoh’s body lay on an ancient beach. It was cast there by a grieving Heavenly Father who witnessed this man spurn His every effort to keep him from this tragic end. Pharaoh was not there because God had pre-determined to drown him in the Red Sea, and that without choice. I do not believe that God destined one to be forever revered as a savior of his people (Moses) and the other (Pharaoh) to be an object of His wrath. We must surely know that we cannot reject God’s love and fight against Him and expect to win. God will be forced finally to stop a rebellious soul. Pharaoh had victimized himself by his own choices.
Prayer: Dear Lord please help me to respond to your love. May I never chose my own willful way and reject your plan for my salvation. I never want to be a piece of “driftwood on the beach of eternity.”
~ Brother Roy