As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” | Exodus 14:10-14
As soon as the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh and the Egyptians realized that they no longer had any slaves to do work for them. So, Pharaoh and his army started to chase after the Israelites into the desert. God had brought them to the point of the Red Sea when they turned back to see the Egyptian army chasing after them. In their fear they questioned the Lord and cried out to Moses, even though just a few days before God performed awesome wonders in Egypt that no one had ever seen since the existence of the world.
Many of the situations we face in life are very similar to this. It is almost our first instinct to question God as to why something is happening to us even though we have seen countless times of how God worked in our lives in the past. Our shortsightedness often makes us quickly forget the good things and remember only the bad situation we are currently facing. In verses 13-14, Moses tells the Israelites four specific things they must do:
1) Don’t fear.
2) Step aside.
3) See how the Lord works.
4) Keep silent.
This is very applicable to the problems we face as well. The first feeling that overcomes us in a tough situation is fear coupled with worry. We have to remember that God is bigger than the problems we are facing. Rather than being overwhelmed, we have to confide in Him.
Soon after fear or worry overcome us, we are quick to react on what we think may be the best solution to the problem. What God is asking us to do is not be reactive, but rather stand back and let Him deal with the problem. By jumping to a solution, we don’t even give God the opportunity to do a great work in our lives. We may solve our problems, but God may have had a much greater and easier solution in store for us. The moment we step back and let him work, we will see the amazing ways in which He can deliver us from whatever we are facing.
Lastly, we have to be silent and take in how God has worked throughout our lives. This makes us quick to remember how God can do amazing things even though we are incapable of handling all of these problems. God brought the Israelites to the point of the Red Sea because He had a plan for them there. They didn’t just happen to be there when the Egyptian army showed up. He wanted to place them in a position where He could show His power. This is often the case with us, though many times we may not see it. God brings about certain situations in our lives so that we can turn to Him and see the awesome ways He works through it. If we ever feel that we are in a hopeless situation, we can always rely on God and His promises!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7