JUST STAND STILL AND WATCH
Imagine the excitement of the Israelites. The Lord chose Moses as the leader to lead them out of centuries of slavery in Egypt. They had their out, and before them wasn't simply freedom, they were heading for the promised land! If it was up to you or I, or the Israelites, they would have taken the ticket out and headed down the main road, the shortest path - and right into trouble. There was no way the Lord was letting them take this simple and typical route. He knew if they were faced with battles against the Philistines they would turn and run back into their familiar Egyptian slavery. We tend to find so much comfort in what we know - even if it's a prison cell of our own slavery. Instead of seeking freedom, we put pictures up on the walls, scatter some throw pillows and settle into our comfort zone of slavery when the road before us gets a little rocky. Is the battle even worth it, we ask? Isn't it easier to just live in what we know? It can often take a roundabout way through the wilderness, approaching a huge obstacle in our way, in order to step into the promised land and the life-to-the-full freedom Christ came to give us by grace. But the roundabout way might have its own trouble along the way. This is where the Israelites find themselves - the relentless Egyptian army behind them and a swaying, rocking Red Sea before them.
Pharaoh had agreed to let the Israelites go but with a hardened heart, he changes his mind and sends his army out, following the scent of the slaves he now wants back at the control of his hand. When the Israelites see this, they are overcome with fear. This fear turns into faithless complaining and a cry out to their leader, Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die? Were there not enough graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt with us this way?” Then they put the icing on the cake with, “We told you so!”. Moses, the leader full of faith in the Lord He knew to be the One True God, and walking forward in obedience now has a couple million people telling him his leadership choices were bad ones. But he steps up in the full faith he has rooted deep in the Lord and says, “Don’t be afraid! Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today!” How beautiful! Just stand still and watch. We are at the point where our abilities to control the situation are gone. We are at the edge of impossible. The only way to be saved is by the hand of our Rescuer. He is the One who can do the impossible and deliver His people. Be still and know that God is the God of your situation.
DON'T BE AFRAID! JUST STAND STILL AND WATCH THE LORD RESCUE YOU TODAY
The Lord gave His people the motive behind these circumstances. Exodus 14:4 states the Lord’s plan - to display His glory, not only for Israel to see but so that Egypt will also know He is God. Are we at a place in our own lives that we are ready to stand at the edge of impossible, where we let go of control and let the Lord put His glory on display? God didn’t just come for the good, the loyal, the ones who have it all together. He came that everyone who believes can have everlasting life. And He doesn’t just work in ways to show His glory, character and heart to His people, the ones who already know Him. He wants those who don’t know Him as their Lord to also see His glory on display. Behold! The rescuer!
The story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea was told over and over, for generations to come. Each time a reminder that the Lord is faithful, His love never ends, He is mighty to save, and His glory will be displayed. After Moses tells the people to be still and watch, the Lord says to him, “Why are you crying out? Tell the people to get moving!” Once we take that time, a minute, a day, a year, a season, and can come to the place where we are confident that God is the God of our situation, we can move forward in faith. Take that step from the edge of impossible right into the impossible. Moses lifts his staff and the water parts to the right and to the left. Wind blowing all night to keep the water in its place and revealing dry ground. Dry ground! Not a muddy mess, not wading up to their knees in sea water, but a dry sea bed as the Israelites cross from slavery into freedom. God asked them to get moving but He made the path easy before them. I don’t know exactly why but I imagine it had something to do with His huge love for them and dry ground puts this miracle and the glory of the Lord displayed to the next level. Walking on the impossible at the loving hand of our Rescuer.
So one obstacle down but what about that army of enemies coming up behind them? They are at the core of the Lord’s purpose here. His plan was to display His glory through their hard hearts and have Egypt know that He is Lord. The chase is on - the Egyptian army is in the center of the Red Sea when they are thrown into confusion and chaos. Here they change their minds, “Let’s get out of here!”, because they knew the Lord is fighting for His people. And the water starts to flow back into its original order. Not one member of that army survived.
The Israelites look back and see the rescue of the Lord - the love, the care, the glory displayed. Behold! the mighty power of God. They were filled with awe before Him and they put their faith in the Lord. The Lord’s ways cannot be hindered. When you come to the edge of impossible - trust Him and step into the impossible and see how He will use your life to display His glory for others to see and also know He is Lord. He does this at salvation, for we are all sinners in need of a rescuer. He made a path from our slavery in sin to freedom in Him by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Like dry ground, we don't need to work for our salvation - He makes the way easy, it's simply putting our trust and hope in Him - believing God is who He says He is. He was faithful then and He will be again and again and again. Trust Him for your rescue.