Scripture Reading: Exodus 14:1-14
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Ex. 14:13-14 NLT)
A growling, snarling dog is charging. What should you do? One part of your mind says, stand still, but another part says, let’s get out of here. The dog appears to be in an attack mode, and as fear whelms up in your throat your feet seem to be paralyzed. Standing your ground in the face of threatening circumstances may be the hardest thing you’ll ever be called upon to do. It certainly was for the children of Israel.
The children of Israel faced such a situation when they came to the Red Sea. The ground was shaking from the rumble of the many chariots racing toward them. They were terrified and complained to Moses. What shall we do? Where can we hide? They were caught between the sea and the advancing army of the Egyptians. They couldn’t go back even if they wanted to and the mountains and sea had them hemmed in on all sides. All appeared to be lost. Moses called out to God and then commanded them to, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” I’m sure they must have thought, Are you serious Moses? Don’t you hear the rumble of the chariots? Can’t you feel the shaking of the ground under our feet? Stand still , you say! We are about to be overtaken and slaughtered and you want us to stand still. That’s ridiculous! You’re out of your mind. We want to run and hide except there’s nowhere to go. That’s what fear will do to a person. Fear paralyzes our minds. Only as we exercise faith can we move forward.
What would you have thought? How would you have responded? The growling, snarling dog is getting closer. Can’t wait much longer! If I decide to stand still, I will have to exercise faith and trust in the Lord. That’s what the children of Israel had to do. The Lord God was testing their faith to see if they would rely completely upon him for their salvation. Finally, the Lord gave the command to move forward. This was another test of their faith.
Our faith is being tested on a daily basis. How will we handle life’s struggles? Will we try to handle everything in our own strength? Will we rely upon our own abilities to see us through? Or will we be like the children of Israel and be willing to stand still and see how God works things out? Trying circumstances have a way of showing up at our doorstep. When our paycheck doesn’t come! When our child is sick! When we are misunderstood and falsely accused! When we face circumstances that threaten our security, do we reach out by faith and lay hold upon the promises of God, or do we allow fear to immobilize us?
The Psalmist said, “But you, O Lord, are a shield to me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high” (Ps. 3:3). Stand fast and trust the one who is fighting for you. The battle is the Lords.