The Israelites had already witnessed all the plagues that God brought on Egypt and its people. They had eaten the Passover lambs and experienced the protection under the blood (Exodus 12:13, 22, 23). Now after marching out boldly in front of the Egyptians they were suddenly terrified to see the sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. They had no way to go except forward.
At this time, they forgot all the great signs and wonders God had done in their midst and on their behalf. They forgot that the LORD was travelling with them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They forgot that the deliverance from Egypt was not their own idea but it was God who started the process and was now bringing them out of Egypt (see Exodus 3:6-10). Yes, they should have remembered that God who began a good work would also complete it (Philippians 1:6) in the lives of all who trust in him.
Remember that a great difficulty in life which looks impossible is God-appointed if he is the One who has given you the marching orders. He who asked you to move will also create a way forward even when it seems you are surrounded on all sides by difficulties. Such a time is a time not to be alarmed or grumble against God (see the experience of David-Psalm 31:21, 22). Nor is it a time to think of going back to the place from which God has brought you out (Hebrews 11:15). But trust in the Lord who has appointed the difficulty so that he will gain glory for himself through the victory over the difficulty that he’ll give to you.
The message for you today is: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today . . . The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13-14). This message is relevant for our lives today as well. When difficulties and impossibilities surround us know that is the Lord who fights for us. He is YHWH-Tsebaioth, the LORD of hosts (or armies) (translated as the Lord Almighty). “For the battle is the LORD’s” said David to Goliath when he despised him (1 Samuel 17:47). This message has been repeated often.
For example, when King Jehoshaphat cried out to God in prayer when he was alarmed concerning the vast army that came to invade their land, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel who said, “This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you’ ” (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17). Standing firm is so important to see God’s deliverance in our lives when we face great unrest and frightening experiences (Psalm 46:2, 3). Never need we doubt the truth that the LORD Almighty is with us (Psalm 46:7); never need we doubt the truth that God is our refuge and strength and an “ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Let us take seriously the command: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). So let us stand firm and see God’s deliverance in our lives.
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isaiah 7:9b).
All Scripture Quotations are taken from the New International Version.