I’ve been reading in Exodus this weekend, specifically the parting of the Red Sea section. Turn with me to chapter 14 of that book, please.
First of all, the Israelites have been in Egypt for (exactly!) 430 years, at least the last half of those centuries as the SLAVES of the Egyptians, It’s not entirely clear how devout the people were to “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” at this point before Moses came – they certainly professed a love and worship of Him, but it’s clear they didn’t TRUST Him to come through for them, given their disbelief through the events of Exodus 5-11. (Thankfully, they both listened AND obeyed when Moses told them of God’s “Pass Over” plan to save their first born and win their freedom…. or maybe there were a handful who didn’t listen and DIDN’T leave out of grief. We don’t know….
But at the first sign of trouble — admittedly, a BIG sign — they’re ready to abandon ship.
“Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?
This cry in Exodus 14:11 is met with calm and rationality by Moses, who knows what the Glory of the Lord can do. He has seen the miracles of God by his own hand, and has complete faith in God – which gives him peace in this situation. His reply is succinct (this is v. 13-14, also from the ESV as usual) —
Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today… The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
To be honest, however, I prefer the translation that The Message gives for v. 14: “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut.”
Maybe Moses wasn’t quite as patient as I thought….
But look at what God does for them – in particular, look at the footing provided for them. Here’s Ex 14:22 —
And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
Contrast that to what their enemies faced (14:25). where God “(clogged) their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily.” Clogged with what? With mud. Despite the fact that the Israelites had crossed “on dry ground”!
And in case you missed it, it’s repeated in verse 29: But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea.
God will do that for us, too. Remember Psalm 91, and the line misquoted by the devil while tempting Jesus? Read the context of that line, in verses 9 through 12. It applies to all Believers, not just Christ!
Trust the Lord, and He will take care of you.