It was no accident that God led Israel out of Egypt while the Sea People
battered the coast. It was no accident that God led them through forty
years in the wilderness, while their Creator-concept was reinforced and
while God prepared the most opportune time for them to enter and claim
the Promised Land. But all the while, they murmured and doubted God’s
Providence. After all, they spent forty years in the desert with only crumbs of manna
when they expected to be in the Land of Milk and Honey!
Again and again God reminded Israel, “I am the LORD your God who
brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of bondage.” Through such
reminders, God emphasized His Providence in History. Since they had
no word for history, the Hebrews simply recited the whole litany of events
by which God led them during the Exodus. This is history in its most literal,
graphic sense. Also a dramatic way to remember it.
In time Israel developed a unique sense of time and history that was
ongoing and purposeful, in contrast to other people who saw endless
repeating cycles with no purpose. (This is from Wm. Foxwell Albright.)
God gave this unique sense of history to the Hebrews. By the time He
invested a couple of thousand years in them, He could not give up on them—
no matter how stiff-necked they were (and they were stiff-necked)—because
no one else reached back to the dawn of history the way they did. And no
one else came in contact with the dominant civilization of man’s rising
spiral of development the way God led the rag-tag Hebrews from early
Sumer to Egypt, then back to Canaan.