By Carmen Harb
In Exodus Chapter 14, we see that the new nation of Israel has instituted the first Passover, has escaped Egypt, and is fleeing from Pharaoh’s army through the wilderness of the Red Sea. The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire: an amazing appearance of God’s protection, guidance, and reassurance.
Yet, as the nation is being pursued, and as they are hemmed in by the Red Sea, they become terrified and begin to grumble against Moses. This grumbling has obvious blame attached to it. This grumbling sounds like me when I am placed in a difficult situation. I begin to complain to God, as if he really owes be anything, forgetting that I owe him a great debt. Despair, anxiety, fear, and doubt begin to control my thought life. I forget God’s power, his past mercies. I forget His faithfulness and the full scope of His character. I become paralyzed, or I become a coward. Or I try to take things into my own hands. Yet God’s divine plan has asked me to go from strength to greater strength, from faith to greater faith, and from obedience to greater obedience.
Moses encourages Israel to watch the wonderful way God will rescue them when he answers in verse 13, “Do not be afraid. STAND STILL. And see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
“ ‘Stand firm’, the key posture of an upright person expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long before God will say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, ‘Go Forward’.” (Charles Spurgeon)
I am thankful for the way scripture repeats in verse 4 and 17, “I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army that the Egyptians may know that I am Lord.” How reassuring to remember who is our Lord, immutable, all-knowing, all powerful, all good, full of love and mercy and who alone is worthy of all my trust. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
F.B. Meyer states, “Learn what God will do for his own. Dread not any result of implicit obedience to his command; fear not angry waters, which in their proud insolence forbid your progress; fear not the turbulent crowds of men who are perpetually compared to waters lifting up their voice and roaring with their waves. Fear none of these things. Above the voice of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, the Lord sits as king upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth as king forever… His way lies through as well as in the sea, his path amid the mighty waters, and his footsteps are veiled from human reason. Dare to trust him; dare to follow him!”