As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. – Exodus 14:10-16, 21-22
A life of faith often leads us to moments where we feel trapped. On one side is the sea, while on the other, the enemy of our souls. In these moments we are tempted to blame God for our misfortune and take the easy way out: surrendering to the enemy.
As the Israelites demonstrated, following the path of deliverance is a difficult one. We can have that special moment where we are released from the enemy’s camp, and feel so thankful for Jesus, his presence, and his liberating power. But in no time at all, we’re being pursued by the Devil. Maybe we were freed from addiction or a bad relationship, maybe we chose to make Jesus lord of our lives. Whatever our Egypt was, we come to a point where we feel powerless to press towards God’s way. The thing we escaped from seems so appealing now that we’re living in the desert, facing the impossible barrier of the Red Sea.
What I love about this episode is the way in which God responds to the Israelites: “Why are you crying out to me?” It’s almost as though God is saying, “why are you babbling on, the Red Sea means nothing to me. Get up and move.” It’s true. The Israelites had witnessed so many manifestations of God’s power, some that were far greater than crossing a body of water, they should be beyond this type of doubt.
As Christians, we face situations, or issues, and even though we’ve encountered God’s deliverance, we doubt his power can get us through the next hurdle. We sometimes babble on, throw a pity party, and refuse to move; even idealizing the days when were in captivity. God’s answer is one of confidence: Get up and move! Faith is not about knowing the outcome, it’s about trust the one who already knows the outcome. God’s provision should never be in question.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? – Matthew 6:25-27