You would be hard-pressed to find a man in the Bible who had greater faith than good ‘ol Father Abraham. Abraham trusted God would indeed make him the father of many nations despite his old age. Of course, God came through on his promise and Abraham ended up with an uncountable number descendants. Unfortunately, some of those descendants found themselves enslaved in Egypt for something like 430 years.
Now, probably most of you remember the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, but today I want you to see it with eyes of faith. Think about the amount of courage and faith it would have taken Moses to lead this group of many (600,000 fighting men, plus the elderly, women, and children) and the amount of faith and courage it would have taken to be lead.
In Exodus 14, Moses and the Israelites are trapped. While the” killing of the first-born plague” had been the last straw for the Pharaoh (God finally unhardened his heart), he has changed his mind and is now pursing the Israelites to bring them back into captivity. As the Israelites reached the Red Sea, the Egyptians were closing in on them. They appeared to be trapped. To the east was the sea; to the south and west there were mountains; to their north was Pharaoh’s army. This is where the complaining begins.
Exodus 14:11-12 (NKJ)- 1 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
This is the same complaint you will hear over and over throughout their 40 year journey. But, I can’t say that I blame them here. They were afraid. They blamed Moses because they were trapped and about to die or be captured. Good news, God wanted them to feel trapped. He was about to demonstrate to them then and us now that He is to be trusted, He will keep His promises, and He will rescue His people.
Exodus 13 (NKJ)- 3 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Stand still (hold your peace)? Despite being trapped, God wanted the Israelites to stand still? Could you have stood still in this situation?
Exodus 14:15 (NKJ)- 5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
In other words, MOVE!!!! Prayer is important. While there is a time for prayer, there is a time for action as well. Sometimes we know what to do, but we continue to pray because we are not 100% sure. Well, if we had to be 100% sure every time, why would we need faith? Yes, we need to be sure we are hearing God, but sometimes God tells us to move even when things don’t make sense and are a little bit scary.
Exodus 14:21-23 (NKJ)- 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
Moments ago there was no means of escape. There was nowhere for God’s people to go. But the Lord made a path for them (a dry one at that). If God wants you to do something, He will make a path for you as well. Here is where things get a little more sticky.
How far ahead could the Israelites see? Was the Red Sea parted from bank to bank? Did the Israelites know that the sides wouldn’t come down upon them any second?
It took a great deal of faith for them to step out into the sea. Dried or not, there were no guarantees here. They had to trust God would see them across safely.
Sometimes in our lives we think we have to know everything before we step out in faith. We have to have a plan and everything must line up. If there is uncertainty we assume it is not of God. As demonstrated here, sometimes we have to be willing to move not knowing what will come. We literally have to step out in faith.
I believe it was Martin Luther King Jr. who said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
With 600,000 men (plus women and children) there was no way, all (if any) could see what was ahead. They couldn’t tell if the path was clear of bumps, rocks, valleys. They just had to walk in faith and trust God to keep clearing the way.
This is very real in my life right now as I handed in my resignation today. My husband and I had a plan, but it seems God has another one. Do I know what lies ahead? No. But what I do know is that I must follow God, even when I can’t see where He is leading me.
Have a blessed day!