See the Lord's Salvation [Devotion]
From the beginning of this project I have prayed that it would be a Red Sea type of project. I other words I’d hoped that, like the crossing of the Red Sea, God would bring this project about in such a way that even people who would never admit that He exists must admit that He is at work. But here’s the thing about the miracle at the Red Sea, it was about more than a convenient footpath across an inconvenient body of water.
Exodus 14:1-4, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.” (emphasis added). If we’re honest with a reading of this passage we realize that God lead the Israelites to the Red Sea not as an accident but intentionally to show His glory. Not only that but He then hardens Pharaoh’s heart in order to create the circumstances for one of the most dramatic miracles of the Old Testament.
Exodus 14:9-10, “The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘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.” (emphasis added). I think we often give the Israelites a hard time about their response here. While I don’t wish to defend their lack of trust in God (which is inexcusable) we need to be careful lest we with sin “cast the first stone.” How often has God lead us into difficult circumstances or allowed trials in our lives and we, at the first whiff of discomfort, wail to heaven, “Were there no graves in Egypt? At least we could have died in style!” Yet here the Israelites were stuck between the most powerful army in the known world and an impassable body of water. We look on their circumstance knowing what was going to happen and say that they should have trusted God. And they should have. But let us then learn from that and trust God in our circumstances, no matter how dark. I love Moses’ response.
Exodus 14:13-14, “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (emphasis added). I really don’t need to say anything. Moses says it all! Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord! Be silent and He will fight for you! No matter the trial, hardship, or even tragedy we find ourselves in the Lord will be with us and if we will submit to His will and plan then we do not have to do anything but watch the salvation of the Lord. Now of course when I say we don’t have to do anything I don’t mean we literally do nothing. But if we are walking in daily obedience we do not need to worry about the outcomes of our circumstances. And when we say the salvation of the Lord we don’t mean that God will take us from discomfort to comfort in this earthly life. We’ve been studying the lives of some of the early martyrs in youth group and it is obvious that sometimes God allows His very own sons and daughters to be lead to violent death for the sake of His kingdom. But even in those times God has brought about salvation not only in their hearts but through their deaths has delivered them permanently from the trials and heartaches of this corrupted world and ushered them into utter bliss and freedom. But God often rescues us here on earth as He did time and again with Israel, as He did with David, as He did with Daniel, as He did with Esther, and as He did with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But in this we know that whatever we are facing we don’t need to look to ourselves to find victory, we don’t need to long for the slavery of Egypt, we don’t need to seek to make peace with the world. But rather, without fear we must stand firm looking for the Lord’s salvation. The Lord will fight for us and all we need to do is be silent.
I’m including a link to another devotion on this passage by Alistair Begg. I hope you find it as encouraging as I did.