A triumphant stand, part one

I’m excited today as I return to my Moses Moments series and continue to look at the life of Moses and some of the amazing things I learned as I read this section of the Bible for the first time.  This part of the story is probably the most well known when it comes to Moses, as we see him in Exodus Chapter 14 leading the people to the shores of the Red Sea.

Whenever I first started this series I wrote about Moses’ experience with the burning bush. If you read that you’ll remember that I was just so amazed at how reluctant he was. Moses had an excuse for everything, a good reason why he wasn’t the man for the job God was giving him. He even implored the Lord to send someone else.

In all honesty, that didn’t give me the best impression of Moses. Faced with the presence of God, assured of the victory that laid ahead, he was still a hesitant whine bag. Even afterwards, as he headed into Egypt and was working to get the people of Israel set free, Moses continued to be a doubting, second guessing man. He returned to the Lord in prayer when facing a tough time and would cry out, complaining that things weren’t going how he thought they were supposed to.

Then we get to Exodus Chapter 14. Pharaoh has finally released the people of Israel and they’re on their way out of the land. Hearing that the freed slaves are wandering about, Pharaoh changes his mind about giving them freedom. He gathers his army, gets hundreds of chariots, and goes after them. The people of Israel are encamped by the Red Sea.

When the Israelites see Pharaoh and his massive army approaching, they have a bad reaction, but I think it’s an understandable one. They’re basically facing extinction here and have nowhere to run. They cry out to the Lord, they cry out to Moses, blaming him for convincing them to leave slavery and go free, saying it would’ve been better for them to remain slaves.

If you started from the beginning of Moses’ story, at this point you have a good idea of what Moses is going to say. Much like he’s done when hitting other snags or hardships, I expected him to talk to God and whine a bit and complain. But you said it was going to work, and now it’s gotten tough, what’s the deal, God? After all, Moses has been reluctant and doubtful and hesitant from the start of things. Now, when he and his people are facing what looks like complete and total extinction, the stage is set for his most epic whining yet. But here’s what Moses’ response was to the doubt filled Israelites that were crying out about their impending doom.

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

If you ask me, this is one of the most inspiring and faith filled lines in all of the Bible. Moses, doubtful, hesitant, reluctant, whining Moses, is facing death. He obeyed God and got these people freed. He obeyed God and lead them to this place. And now here’s Pharaoh and his army, these chariots charging in ready to annihilate the Israelites. It’s finally a moment when you could really relate to some whining. It’s finally a moment when I’d sort of understand if Moses was like “Uh, God, I know you said this was going to work out but we’re in quite a pickle here…”. But it’s like it took this moment of utter and complete hopelessness for Moses to finally get it. His faith just blossoms inside of him, his trust in God hits a new level, and he opens his mouth and tells the Israelites to quiet down and pay attention because God is about to do something miraculous for them.

It’s a great moment for Moses, and if you know the rest of the story you know it’s a great moment for God as He displays His incredible power by parting the Red Sea and providing a safe escape for His people.  But honestly, reading this chapter provided a great moment for me, and I think a great moment for any modern believer, as it shows us something great about our faith.  I hope you’ll join me again on Thursday as I dive into that in the second and final part of this study.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, I thank you today that there’s no such thing as an impossible situation for your people.  If you are with us, then there’s always a path to victory.  So many things can be taken from every part of your word, Lord.  There are so many layers to every part of the Bible, and I’m so thankful for that.  I thank you that it’s a living book, a book of power and a book that brings us closer to you.  Right now Lord I want to pray for anyone who feels like they’re in an impossible situation.  Moses and the Israelites had nowhere to go and nowhere to turn.  To the naked eye the stage was set for a tragedy.  But to the eye who is focused on you, the stage was set for a miracle.  Today I lift up anyone who needs a miracle.  Anyone who is in a place where the stage seems set for tragedy, I ask right now that you instead make it a stage to display your majesty.  Be glorified on this day Lord, move among your distressed people the same way you did on the shores of the Red Sea those thousands and thousands of years ago.  I thank you for the miracles I know in my heart you’re performing this very moment in lives all around this world.  I thank you that you’re not just the God talked about in a book, you’re the living God of the modern world.  Nothing is impossible for you, God, and I praise you and your infinite power, and I thank you that you use it for the good of your people.  Thank you for loving us so much that you provide ways out, that you provide the strength to endure, the courage to face tough times, and the wisdom to know that without you we would never have a chance.  I have victory in you, God, and I thank you for that.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

I love you guys very very much.  I’m really happy to finally be continuing this Moses Moments series and returning to my Bible studies.  There’s so much about the life of Moses that jumped out at me and I look forward to sharing it all with you over the course of the coming weeks.  See you on Thursday, and until then, please remember that God loves you, He’s for you, and that no situation you face is ever impossible.  Give your troubles to the Lord, from the smallest problem to the biggest, and allow Him to work.  As Moses said, at that point you just have to watch as God moves within your life.

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