Exodus – God’s Way Out
“Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today”.
Personally, I am believing and leaning into these words as we are “chased” by the threat of succumbing to this virus. We look to the right and to the left at friends being tested for it. We watch our friends in the medical field bravely go to work and do their best to avoid it while helping others through it.
Schools are now closed for the rest of the year to avoid it. Yes, we are on the run in our own wilderness of not knowing what will happen next. Fear is growing like another out of control virus among those who do not know God.
Our national, state and local government is doing all they can to protect us. Our lifestyle is new, challenging and changes from day to day. People are growing anxious in this desert of the unknown.
The church, the Body of Christ, is doing all they can to help people find and follow Jesus while daily praying for those who are fearful. We pray for those who are full of anxiety while they wait the results of medical tests. Fear sets in as financial debt is mounting. These and other challenges concern most people who have been laid off in the service industry. Fear of not making it through the crisis is now settling in like dark cloud. This is lasting longer than anticipated. People are crying out, “When will it be over”? followed by, “How will I survive”?
We realize, as we read the story of God in Moses, that fear is a liar. Fear takes over and the people panic. Fear has caused the Hebrews, once beaten down slaves, to rethink the decision to leave, right in the middle of the chase. Fear caused the attention of Israelites to turn inward at themselves while looking backward at the enemy behind them.
We know the end of the story. Silly Hebrews, do you not see God at work? Don’t you know He is going to help you? Stop grumbling and blaming your leader in your fear and anxiety, just keep moving forward! We see clearly in the story that God knows what He is doing. God’s angel who was leading them through the wilderness now got behind them.
God’s angel stood between His people and the enemy.
STOP and camp on that thought for a moment. Do you believe that God stands between the enemy (satan’s fear who is a liar) and us?! (YES! A million times YES!)
What will history say about OUR reaction to our present situation? Will they say, silly people of God, did you not see God at work? We don’t know the end of our story…yet…but we know the Author.
“Believe and be saved”, I hear God’s Spirit shouting. Salvation with the promise of life is yours for eternity! Just come to Me and I will give you all you need to live without fear and anxiety. I will be with you. I will help you through the troubled waters. I will give you a peace that the world cannot give. These are all words of Jesus, our Savior and Lord to those who believe. What is more important than thinking about whether we will contract the virus, is asking ourselves do we really believe what we say we believe about God? Is our relationship with God through Jesus real and alive and well?
More than the thought of possibly dying from a virus is knowing, without doubt, where I stand with God. Amen?
Exodus 14, The Message
The Story and Song of Salvation
1-2 God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.
3-4 “Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness has closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”
And that’s what happened.
5-7 When the king of Egypt was told that the people were gone, he and his servants changed their minds. They said, “What have we done, letting Israel, our slave labor, go free?” So he had his chariots harnessed up and got his army together. He took six hundred of his best chariots, with the rest of the Egyptian chariots and their drivers coming along.
8-9 God made Pharaoh king of Egypt stubborn, determined to chase the Israelites as they walked out on him without even looking back. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea—all Pharaoh’s horse-drawn chariots and their riders, all his foot soldiers there at Pi Hahiroth opposite Baal Zephon.
10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them!
They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”
13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.
14 God will fight the battle for you.
And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
15-16 God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.
17-18 “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”
19-20 The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and God, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.
22-25 The Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground with the waters a wall to the right and to the left. The Egyptians came after them in full pursuit, every horse and chariot and driver of Pharaoh racing into the middle of the sea. It was now the morning watch. God looked down from the Pillar of Fire and Cloud on the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. He clogged the wheels of their chariots; they were stuck in the mud.
The Egyptians said, “Run from Israel! God is fighting on their side and against Egypt!”
26 God said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots, over their horsemen.”
27-28 Moses stretched his hand out over the sea: As the day broke and the Egyptians were running, the sea returned to its place as before. God dumped the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. The waters returned, drowning the chariots and riders of Pharaoh’s army that had chased after Israel into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29-31 But the Israelites walked right through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall to the right and to the left. God delivered Israel that day from the oppression of the Egyptians. And Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians. The people were in reverent awe before God and trusted in God and his servant Moses.
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
God’s purpose, in this Red Sea miracle, was to enter into a vital relationship with His people. For that purpose they needed to know and trust him. For that to take place the long way through the wilderness with all its attendant hazards was necessary before they faced the wars of conquest in the Promised Land. God wastes no growing experience in our journey with Him. God will use this to help them in the next challenge of taking over the land promised to them. Wait and see.
Stand firm. Stop complaining. Stay connected to God in Holy communion with Him each morning. Focus on God! Watch how He works. Be wise. Obey your leaders. Do what we are told to do. Pray for each other. Stay connected to God’s family. When God invites us to His work, get up at once and go!
Watch God intervene on our behalves. Watch expectantly for God’s glory to be displayed all over the world that He created. God was, is and always will be in control. God will be with us through it all no matter what will happen next and last. When we see God display His power, tell the world! We have the tools of technology to do this!
And never forget. Always remember what God has done, is doing and will do and be humbly grateful. Give God the glory. Always. Trust in God drives out fear.
Faith and fear do not occupy the same space in our minds. Choose what you will think about today. Choose well.
“Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians. The people were in reverent awe before God and trusted in God and his servant Moses.”
Dear Heavenly Father,
There are so many lessons and thoughts about you and your power in your story of Deliverance and Redemption of your people! Thank you for the thoughts that drove my own fear away this morning. Thank you for your overwhelming love. I hear you, Lord. There is no place in my heart, mind and soul for fear. Thank you for your special peace that permeates all hearts who believe that you, dear Jesus, faced our biggest fear, death, and won the victory by rising from death to prove you are King of kings and LORD of lords! You are my Savior. To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.
In Jesus Name, and by His power, I will tell your story all day long.