When Moses tried to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free one of the plagues the Lord sent was a plague of locusts. How did the locusts get to Egypt in such large numbers? “The Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts” (Ex. 10:13). With the wind came great destruction.
The east wind was not always bad. When Moses and the Israelites were leaving Egypt they came upon the Red Sea. Pharaoh’s army was right behind them, planning on forcing them to return. They were saved by the power of the Lord, “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14:21). It was the east wind that blew and parted the Red Sea.The house of Israel crossed over the sea in safety while the armies of Pharaoh drowned in the closing waters.
Sometimes the east wind is used metaphorically to represent the ephemeral lives of the wicked. A prideful, wicked man may try to fill his stomach with the east wind (see Job 15:2) but he will be full of nothing but hot air. Not only will the air fill the wicked with nothing but also it will buffet and blow them about (see Job 27:21). Those who are thus puffed up will, like the ships of Tarshish, be brought down low and destroyed by the strength and scorching heat of the east wind (see Psalm 48:7). Their sails and masts will be broken, their rudders smashed, and they will sink into the depths of the sea (see Ezek. 27:26). Those who do not repent and who “sow filthiness…shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction” (Mosiah 7:31).
How do we protect ourselves from the mighty winds and scorching heat of the east wind? Returning again to the verse in Helamen do we find the answer: “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Hel. 5:12). Only by building our foundation upon our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, do we find solace from the storm.
Storms will buffet all of us at some point in our lives. Some people seem to live under constant stormy skies while others only experience the occasional bluster. Just like any building, our lives need to have strong foundations in order to withstand the winds that blow. Christ is this foundation.