Friday, September 9, 2016

Stand Firm

 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. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Exodus 14:13,14

Fear not.
Stand firm.
Three things Moses told the Israelites to do as they stood watching the world renown army of Egypt barreling down on them, chariots and swords a-blazing, with the Red Sea lapping the shore behind them. There was no where to go. Be killed or drown - it was over.

Rewind a few weeks and things had been pretty crazy in Egypt. God was striking the Egyptian people and their gods with plagues that only He could fashion. Then the day came when Moses told the people to get ready to leave, because it was going to happen for real this time. Not like the nine times before where Pharaoh changed his mind.  

So the people followed Moses' instructions and in the blink of an eye, two million of them were on the road to the Promised Land. Until Pharaoh did what he always did - changed his mind. Only this time, the people were hemmed in by the Red Sea, and their previous owners were pretty angry. They were fueled by the death of their sons and now Israel was standing at death's door.

But God.

But God had brought this calamity upon Egypt because He had a plan. God had been the One with the instructions. He was the One in the bright pillar of cloud they were following. God was going to keep His word...and Moses knew this. Moses had met with God in a desert and had stood before the preeminent world leader and told him his prize work force was done serving him. He had returned ten times to warn of the consequences of disobedience and he had been the one to lead them out on that fateful day. So Moses stood before the people and over their angered and panicked shouts, he told them to do 3 things:  fear not, stand firm and see.  

Fear not. Moses was confident that fear would not produce anything good that day, and he was confident that fear was not necessary because his confidence was not in their ability to defend themselves but in the One who had already revealed His power, His plan and His provision to Moses. So Moses knew he'd have once chance to speak to the people before the show began and he kept it short: fear not, stand firm and see.

Stand firm. Here's why they could stand firm: because the people of Israel had already stepped out in faith and followed God out of Egypt. Standing on the shores of the Red Sea was not the time to change course. Moses told them in two words to be confident in where the Lord had led them. The key was that when God instructed them to get ready to leave, to kill a lamb and smear the blood on their doorposts, to get moving out of Egypt, these people had obeyed. The key was knowing what God wanted and doing it.  Because they had obeyed God, they were in quite a mess and Moses charged them, quit looking at the mess and look at your God.

See. Actually it was, "See the salvation of the Lord."  Boom. Mic drop.  Moses' confidence was in the God who led them into the storm, who led them to the shore of the sea, who hardened the heart of Pharaoh and sent the army. Moses looked at the people and said, watch this.

God moved from leading Israel to protecting them. He moved from the front of the line to the back.That bright cloud, which then turned into fire at night, stood as a barrier between the army and the people. Then it says this: 
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (v. 21,22)

Not sure I've seen those two words before: all night. Moses lifted his hand and God sent a strong wind that blew all night. Don't miss this picture - the army, driven by their anger and loss, is trying to get to the people, God is standing as a barrier, the people are watching a strong wind stir the waters and by dawn, the salvation of the Lord appeared in the form of dry ground. Must have just picked up the mic because, boom, it was just dropped again!

The story goes on and for sake of time, I'll let you check it out yourself but, friend, don't miss this truth - when we are following the instructions of God and adversity comes, we must stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord.  He is not absent, nor does He ever abandon. Yes, sometimes He walks you into a valley, but have confidence in His word and in His promises. Stand firm and see. It's coming and when it does, it's going to be awesome! The question you must ask yourself today is, am I doing what God wants me to do? The answer to that question will either cause you to get back into His word or give you the courage to stand firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment