We read in Exodus 14 that God told the children of Israel to camp “before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea” (14:2). This location was situated between two mountain passes with the sea bordering a third side. The only possible route of escape was back into the wilderness — and that was blocked by Pharaoh’s approaching army.
The Israelites were horrified at their situation and were equally horrified that God Himself had led them there! There were so many ways God could have rescued His people. He could have prearranged to knock the wheels off the Egyptians’ chariots, stranding them in the wilderness and starving them to death.
Or He could have sent the supernatural cloud down upon the Egyptians’ camp to confuse them, causing the soldiers to run around in chaos and disorder for days. But, instead, He chose to send the cloud behind the Israelites as protection.
Or He could have sent a single angel to slay the entire Egyptian army in the blink of an eye. God could have chosen many ways to destroy them at any point.
However, the Lord chose not to take such actions. Instead, He saw fit to squeeze Israel into a tight, alarming situation that was impossible to escape by human means. How do we know God arranged this frightful situation to test His people? His own Word says so: “You shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep [My] commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
The Lord leads His children into difficult situations in order to provide an opportunity for them to put their lives into His hands — to stand still and trust Him to give deliverance and direction.