ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

Lord, You want us to go where and do what?  Now, Lord?  Like right now?

Those were the very questions that came to mind that year as Randy and I realized that God was rearranging our lives to move from the home we had always known from children through adulthood, to a place we hardly knew a thousand miles away.  He was calling Randy to go to seminary while pastoring a country church nearby.  At first, I thought I would find a teaching job as that was my profession, but no, God had another place for me to grow and learn.  As problems came in making the move, God provided instant solutions.  We finally stopped trying to figure it all out and let God do what He does best—Lead us.  Our work was to trust Him.  We learned a great deal about God in that move that prepared us for doing the actual work He was asking us to join Him in once we got there!  God is amazing!  There is no one like our God! 

As we read our passage, my thoughts (that are weird to some) go to the first ones who put their sandaled feet on the sea bed that should have been soggy and muddy.  Did they do a dance when they realized the ground below their feet was dry?  Did they shout over their shoulders, “Hey come on in, the ground is fine!”  “Follow me, let’s do this!”  “Kids, are you seeing this and realizing what God is doing for us?”  “Don’t look back, keep moving forward people!”  Trust God!  Look what He has done so far!

Did you catch what Moses said to the complainers?  Anger stems from fear—Moses had the wisdom to know that.  He consoles then he confronts with truth:

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.  God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

I don’t know about you, but this is pretty great advice from Moses for us today when approached by God with a new invitation to work with Him—Don’t be afraid, stand firm, watch God.  And us, yeah, we need to talk less and listen more.  Lesson learned.

Trust Me. I know what I AM doing.  I know what lies ahead.  I’ve got this. –God

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 MORE DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?

When we forget God’s promises, we overthink and begin to imagine the worst possible scenario. The Israelites were sure that they and their children would die in the wilderness as soon as Pharaoh’s army caught up with them. The frightened people reminded Moses that they had told him to leave them alone (5:20–23), but he had persisted in challenging Pharaoh. Israel was now in a terrible predicament, and Moses was to blame.

Unbelief has a way of erasing from our memory all the demonstrations we’ve seen of God’s great power and all the instances we know of God’s faithfulness to His Word.

Trust God who knows what happens next!

Knowing that the enemy was in pursuit, and hearing the wind blowing all night, the Israelites must have wondered what was going to happen and why God was taking so long. But when we have faith in God’s promises, we have peace in our hearts.

“Why are you so fearful?” Jesus asked His disciples after he had calmed a storm. “How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Faith and fear can’t live together in the same heart, for one will destroy the other. True faith depends on what God says, not on what we see or how we feel. It has well been said that faith is not believing in spite of evidence—that’s superstition—but obeying in spite of consequence.

Lord,

I will trust You, no matter what the world says, no matter what my circumstances are indicating, I will trust You.  You delivered me.  You redeemed me and set me free to love like you love, to live for you with you living in me.  There is no one like you—why then would I trust anyone else but you?  I cannot think of one good reason that I would trust anyone else but you!  Thank you for the peace that comes when all my hope and trust is in you.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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