Pharaoh has finally agreed to let the people of Israel go after the final plague that resulted in so much loss of life. But once the Israelites head out, he realizes what he has done and changes his mind, commanding his army to pursue them. Can you imagine the terror the Israelites must have felt when they saw Pharaoh’s mighty army in hot pursuit? In their fear, they cried out to Moses, accusing him of bringing them into the desert to die. Fear can make you lose all rational thought.
God once again shows His might by literally making a path through the sea so that the Israelites could escape. The way of safety for God’s people became a death trap for Pharaoh’s army as they are swept away by the waters.
For me, in order for the Bible to become more than just words on a page, I have to actively engage it. If I believe that these Biblical characters were real people, and I do, then I have to assume that they were filled with at least some of the same emotions, fears and doubts that I am prone to. I imagine myself as the different characters and think about how I would be feeling in their shoes. As the leader of the people, Moses’ job was to give them words of strength and encouragement – the words that he was receiving from God. I picture him with his heart about to beat out of his chest as he followed God’s command and raised that staff over the water. I can only imagine the exhilaration he must have felt as he witnessed God’s power flowing through that staff and knowing that God was allowing him to be part of this miraculous rescue. And then I think about the Israelites walking in between two enormous walls of water. They HAD to go through it, or face certain return to bondage by running towards the Egyptians. I picture them trembling as they made their way through, hoping and praying that God was big enough. And that day they learned that He was.
Have you ever faced any Red Sea moments with God? Times when the enemy is in hot pursuit but the way forward seems impossible? In despair you cry out to God to somehow make a way but your fear tries to convince you that He’s just not big enough for this one. His word tells us that He is able to do more than we can possibly imagine (look at Ephesians 3:20) but do we really believe that? It’s easy to believe that when things are going well, but what about when things are falling apart?
Exodus 14:14 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I love that this story is the context for it: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I struggle with being still – A LOT, and sometimes I’m not even sure what it looks like in the particular situation that I’m in. But when I see it in this story, it makes perfect sense. Moses wasn’t telling the people to just stand still, he was telling them to stop all the worrying and wrestling and to recognize that God was for them, fighting for them, rescuing them. If we are following after God with all that we’ve got, we can rest in the knowledge that He is for us. He is fighting for us and there’s a place for us to rest in that.
New Hope Church