10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “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? 12 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!”
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Exodus 14:10-18 (New International Version)
From Joy to Fear In An Instant
It is crazy to consider that in the previous chapter, the Israelites left Egypt with great joy and laughter. However the moment they saw trouble in the form of the Egyptian army, their hearts melted in fear. They complained to Moses and to God, claiming that they didn’t need rescue and wished that they could go back to the land of their bondage. Even Moses, when he saw Pharaoh and his army approach, cried out to God for deliverance.
Our Response to Danger
When we do the work of the Lord, hardship is something to be expected because we live in a world that is hostile to the God whom we serve. When these difficulties come, our natural response is to complain and to run away from it. In order to escape from the pain caused by serving the Almighty, one may even go back to their sinful lifestyle, because that was where they were the most comfortable.
God’s Response to Fear
Let us meditate on the Lord’s response to Moses’s cries for deliverance. The Almighty was surprised by the petition and commanded Moses to lead the Israelites forward. Moses must have felt confused, for to move forward was to go into the Red Sea! Nevertheless, the Lord commanded Moses to keep going forward, for when they went into the water, God assured them that He would deliver them by parting the waters so that they would cross the Red Sea on dry ground. Moses and Israel obeyed the Lord and they were saved from the Egyptians.
Trust in the Lord
When hardships come our way, we need to resist the urge to panic and run away. Instead, we must stay calm and trust in the Lord’s provision and grace during this hard time. How do we demonstrate our faith in the Lord in the face of difficult circumstances?
The answer to this question is very simple. We must keep going forward in the Lord’s work, even when it is painful to do so. As we press on in our mission faithfully, the Almighty will part the waters of difficulty that lay before us and we will be able to endure it successfully. The hardships that we face may be big in our sight, but the Lord God whom we serve is far greater and has already defeated it before we even got to it.
God is with Us
Therefore, since the Lord is on our side, what reason do we have to fear when danger tries to block us from fulfilling our mission? Let us stop looking at the obstacle as something that is impassable and start looking at it through our faith eyes. When we do, we will discover that the wall is already broken down. Let us therefore keep moving forward knowing that God is with us.