February 7 I Thursday
“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
Once the Israelites marched out of Egyptian captivity into freedom, their expectancy was, “We are heading for Canaan! We are going home!” Three times God had affirmed He would bring them out of Egypt and into Canaan, so they likely anticipated a smooth, straightforward journey. Led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they followed the route God had marked out for them, but their journey was anything but smooth and straightforward. They faced one crisis after another, and the route God led them on was confusing, frustrating and angered them.
The pillar of cloud by day brought the Israelites right onto the bank of the Red Sea. Too deep to wade through, too wide to bridge over and too long to go around, they were completely stuck. Here, they faced their first big crisis. It would be impossible to cross the Red Sea, and while grumbling to Moses about it, they faced their second crisis. In the distance, they saw the silhouette of the Egyptian army in hot pursuit, which precipitated their third crisis. They were terrified and panicked.
The moment we face a crisis, we are usually inclined to think, “Oh, man! We were better off before,” and this is exactly what the Hebrew people thought. They complained bitterly to Moses, even blaming him for it. God will not only lead us on unpredictable roads but into unexpected battles. Being in the will of God does not exempt us from times of crisis, but we do not take the governance of it upon our own shoulders. That will lead to worry and panic, but in placing its governance on the shoulders of Christ, there is an undergirding peace He gives us that says, “This is His business, His battle and He will fight for me.”
When we are led by God, He will sometimes orchestrate it so that our problems destroy each other. God used the first problem of the Red Sea, which the Israelites could not cross, to destroy the second problem of the ensuing Egyptian army, which resolved the third problem of the people’s fear and panic. God knows what He is doing, and there are good reasons for every route He takes us on.
Moses said to the people, “The LORD will fight for you. You need only to be still.” If we are going to work effectively with God, there are two essential things we need to stand firm in: obey what God says and trust who He is. The governance will then rest on His shoulders and we leave the outcome to Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in times of crisis, grant me the discipline to remain dependent on You and obedient to You. You are sufficient, Lord, and I trust You in every situation. Thank You.