EXODUS 14:10–14 – When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
THEME OF THE DAY: RIGHT WHERE THE LORD WANTS US. I must confess there are times when I read of the Israelites in their Old Testament dealings with their God, I am tempted to think, “How could they act like that after all that He has done?” Ever do that? Ever wonder why, after God comes in rescuing grace, restores them, time and time again, and soon after, His people fall right back into idolatry, sin, and rebellion against Him? Or maybe we put ourselves in the Garden of Eden and think, “How could our first parents choose disobedience over a loving relationship with their Creator?” If you haven’t passed quick judgment on another person, I am envious. It is something extremely easy to do and not just God’s people in the Old Testament but in our churches and Christian circles today. It has been said, “Part of our fallen nature is the ease to judge others long before looking in the mirror.” But that is not today’s theme but by the way, we would have fallen in the Garden of Eden too. And like God’s people of old, we would have joined the disobeying crowd too so don’t be so hard!
In today’s scripture, the Israelites are in a tough spot. Actually an impossible spot. Picture what they are facing. They have left Egypt. God delivered them and they are heading to the Promised Land. All good, right? Not so fast. They are standing on the shore of the Red Sea. There are no ferry boats, cruise liner, bridge or any other means to cross. And this isn’t a wading pond. As they camp, someone looks over the horizon and see a big cloud of dust. Someone runs toward this noise and sight to see what is happening. It is Pharaoh and his entire army. They are coming for God’s people and not to wish them a safe passage. What does Moses, the leader, do as he is confronted by a very fearful and complaining people? He leads. He exhorts saying, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” We may paraphrase him with these words, “Stop fretting. Stop trying to figure things out. There is no way out. God must deliver us. God must guide us so stop this unbelieving complaint, be silent and watch Him work.
Friends, God is going to place us in situations that are impossible to change or control. And that is right where He wants us. We cannot know and praise Him for delivering grace if we are too busy relying upon our own reasoning and power. Until we get to the end of ourselves, He will let us fret and flounder until we do. What happens is we spend way too many sleepless nights trying to figure a way out of a tough circumstance when there is no human way out. The lesson? Wait. In silence. God is in control and He is our father. My wife recently told me as we go through a challenging situation, “God is arranging things His way. We wait and see.” Good advice because it reminds us God has us right where He wants us – empty of self so we may glory in Him.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for the many times I grow impatient and fearful waiting upon You to intervene in my life.”
QUOTE: “We must get to the end of ourselves if we are to experience the power of God’s intervening grace in our lives.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,