“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? 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!” Exodus 14:11-12
The past six weeks have left us with so many unanswered questions. In fact, the past four years have left us with many unanswered questions. Four years ago we made the decision to leave the comforts of our teaching careers, families, salary, lifestyle, and home to follow a calling to full-time ministry. It has not been an easy route. I am a person who likes stability, security, planning, and organization. So as I read Exodus 14-15 yesterday morning, I felt like those Hebrews. Why did God bring us out of Maryland to China and Minnesota, only to bring us back to Maryland again, unemployed and disappointed? The past six weeks have been a roller coaster of applications, letters, recommendations, phone calls, and interviews. We’ve gotten our hopes up multiple times, only to be let down again.
But as I read on in Exodus 14:13-14, I was glad to see Moses’ response to the Hebrews: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today….The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I will quote my daily Bible study’s words: “Though the Hebrews were quaking in their sandals, Moses understood that the best offense was a good defender. He promised: The Lord will fight for you. Do you feel like the enemy is hot on your heels, roaring accusations, threatening destruction? God knows the enemy’s tactics. He is not a passive deity; he’s a ferocious fighter. You have the ultimate defender on your side. Be brave enough to be still. He is a fighter.”
Do not be afraid. Stand firm. See the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you. Be still. These are such simple directions, and yet so difficult to do. When I feel the enemy closing in, I react by busying myself trying to accomplish “God’s work.” I mean, God helps those who help themselves, right? But I forget the importance of being still, and I forget that I have the Lord of all creation fighting for me. So I don’t need to be afraid of the enemy. Instead I need to keep my eyes open so that I won’t miss the miracle that is about to take place. The Hebrews saw the waters divide, and they walked through the sea on dry ground. If we stand firm, we will see the deliverance the Lord will bring even today. I hope that through our struggles, the great power of the Lord might be displayed against the enemy, and that more people might put their trust in God through our testimony to his goodness. Thank God for our Trustworthy Protector, who fights for us!
“And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” Exodus 14:31