Sep 1, 2021, 3:32 PM
Imagine someone you hardly know personally takes upon himself to fight on your behalf in the face of imminent danger! You have two options: to believe that he could or to dismiss his ability altogether. In the latter case you are still agitated, frightened by the apparent menace at hand. Such was the state of mind of the Israelites three days after they had left Egypt - having been delivered by the hand of Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Egyptian Pharaoh had succumbed to pressure to release the Children of Israel after God had struck dead all the firstborns – human and animal -- in every household. The only households spared were those who smeared the blood of the lamb they had sacrificed over the lintel of their homes and on both doorposts.
Unfortunately, they knew nothing about the God who had liberated them. They had been freed from 430 years of slavery and had headed straight for the wilderness when Pharaoh changed his mind and took pursuit. “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services.” (Exodus 14:5) To have given chase proved to be a tactical error, but a likely move to save face. That decision had cost them great economic loss.
In the ensuing panic, the God of Abraham had to act. Only His servant Moses and his brother Aaron could attest to God’s power to deliver His chosen people out of the jaws of death. In this terrified state, they had complained bitterly 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 to leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert.” (Exodus 11:12)
The Israelites did not seem to have cherished their newly-granted freedom. We cannot blame them for they had known no other form of existence. The mighty hand of Jehovah Yahweh in the operations leading to their freedom – without putting up a fight – had not yet been engraved in their minds. It did not seem like any great accomplishment and there they were throwing in the towel, just after takeoff, without any conscious effort to believe in the One who had worked out their freedom.
How often do we put aside God’s glory and deny he has done anything for us? How often do we forget what we have been through and the deliverance God has carried out on our behalf? God had predicted this attitude when he warned; “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17b)
Indeed, they were going to do exactly that - return to their old ways; but God would have nothing to do with that. Moses therefore in a bid to reassure them, spoke in these terms: “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.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
The word of God over any situation in our lives is crystal clear. The obstacles that we face will be demolished each time God intervenes. We only have to believe that His help is forthcoming. We do not have to raise a finger. He assures us: “I will fight for you!”
My brother, my sister, do not let any obstacle - whatever its size - scare you to death or sow doubt in your mind as to what the Lord can do on your behalf. Believe He can do it and He will do it for you. God never comes late on the scene. Only be still. “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 4:6,10)
In the throes of danger and threat to life, we fret, we wail and even panic forgetting that we have a God ready to come to our rescue – “an ever-present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) He is an Overcomer and man’s greatest fear – death – has been nailed to the cross of Calvary when our Lord Jesus gave up His life for our sakes. What have we to fear?
The Children of Israel received protection from Jehovah when the angel of God, who had been travelling in front of them moved from that position and stood behind them, coming between the Egyptian army and the Israelites.
Throughout the night the Lord brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side so neither camp came close to each other. (Exodus 14:19-20)
The Children of Israel finally crossed the river and the Egyptian army that pursued them through the Red Sea all perished. What happened? [Read next week’s episode!]