Day 5 - Exodus 14:10-21

To Be Still or Move?

When things don’t go our way, life can get scary. Let’s backtrack and take a look at one of the most recognizable moments in the Bible, the parting of the sea, where we are reminded of God’s ability to save and the importance of trusting Him in the course of the storm. With the backs of God’s people to the Red Sea, Pharaoh advances:

14:10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 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? 12 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!”

13 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. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

The people of Israel are terrified and for good reason! Their lives are in jeopardy. As the leader, Moses calms his people and reminds them of God’s capabilities. It is important to mention that at this point, Moses has no way of knowing how God could come through, but he knew he would come through. God's track record is enough to back up the claim that we can place our trust and faith in him.

Just like Moses, when we see that our only help is God, we are more likely to trust Him. Instead of sitting in fear, we should run to the Father. When chaos abounds, we are called to stand firm and be still as the Lord fights for us.

What situation do you need to hand over to God as you practice “being still” for a time?

As Moses addresses his people, God chooses to speak.

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 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. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

21 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.

God calls his people into action. Moses was commanded to direct his people and they were directed to get moving. It’s valuable to see that there is a proper time to pray and a proper time to act. It can actually be against God's will to stop doing and to only pray in some situations. When God wants to show his power, everybody sees it and when God calls us into action, we should act!

By God’s power alone the nation of Israel is delivered. Their story serves as a reminder for us on how amazing our God truly is. This is an aspect of our own spiritual life rarely reflected upon. When God delivers us from a temptation or crisis, it is as much a testimony to others as it is for ourselves. God uses each victory in our life to tell others how able and trustworthy he is to be victorious in theirs. The Lord is always fighting for the good of his people, sometimes we just need to discern whether to be still or act in the middle of the storm.

In what situation is God calling you into action? What steps can you take to obey God’s calling in your current circumstance?