But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again, ever. The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.”
“If God really loved me, why would he lead me into such hard circumstances?” You might have found yourself asking this question before. Physical and mental illnesses, loss, relational strain, financial troubles...these types of circumstances often cause us to question God. In these circumstances, we might become aggravated with his guidance, or maybe we wonder if he is really even in control at all.
In Exodus, the Israelites feel this very doubt and fear. God had kept the promise he gave to Israel’s forefather Abraham, growing his family into the nation of Israel. However, the Israelites are now slaves, suffering greatly under Egyptian oppression. But God has not forgotten or abandoned his people. He calls a man named Moses to lead the Israelites out of their slavery.
With miracles and plagues, God delivers Israel and leads them out to the land he promised Abraham, the Promised Land. But not long after they leave, the Egyptian Pharaoh decides to chase after the Israelites with his army.
God has led Israel straight to the bank of the Red Sea, so they are now trapped between an impending army and a large body of water. God has created a situation where reliance on him is the only option. Why would God do this? He wants his people to learn to depend on him, and he wants his strength to be magnified in their weakness.
Standing before the sea, Moses tells the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today... The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Moses doesn’t call the people to run, to fight, or to devise a plan. He calls them simply to depend on God. God parts the sea in half for the Israelites, and they walk through safely! Though the Egyptians pursue after them, God closes the sea and drowns their entire army. He leads the Israelites forward to freedom and a new life.
This act of deliverance should have inspired Israel to depend on God when they encountered future challenges along their journey. But throughout the book of Exodus, we see that the Israelites do not trust in God’s strength. When they’re hungry and thirsty in the desert, they don’t look to God for provision. When God isn’t operating on their timeline, they stop trusting him.
It is because of this pride and hardness of heart that Jesus came to deliver humanity from its sin in an act of deliverance even greater than the Exodus. With his death and resurrection, Jesus brought salvation, salvation that delivers weak and enslaved people from their sin, salvation that leads to freedom and a new life.
Now, just as God did not leave the Israelites to their own means after delivering them through the Sea, He does not save us in Christ to have us rely on our own strength afterwards! The same power that brought Christians into salvation is still with them today! The hard but sanctifying reality is: God often brings us to a place of hopelessness, that we might see our helplessness - that we might learn to depend on him!
Has God led you to deep waters? Do you feel as though you are at the end of yourself? Find encouragement in this: you are exactly where he wants you to be. God’s love has brought you to the place where you will get to experience his strength and deliverance.
RESPOND: Bring to mind a difficult circumstance you are facing. Now, mentally picture yourself leaning on God, letting him support and hold you as you speak these words to your heart: “Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Take a moment to unload any fear or need you have onto God.