Friday, January 27, 2017

Hope To Cross Your Red Sea

Moses answered, the people,
 “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 14:13a, 14

Imagine with me the dilemma faced by the Israelites when, with one final plague over Egypt, God changed the world as they knew it—forever. For four hundred thirty years, to the day, (Exodus 12:40) they lived, worked, and eventually became enslaved in Egypt. Genesis 46:27 tells us that seventy direct descendants of Jacob (Israel) went into Egypt, and after four hundred thirty years, 603,550 men age twenty and older plus women, children, and the Tribe of Levi fled Egypt. In approximately twenty-four days, according to some studies I read, well over one million people camped by the Red Sea.

Exodus 14:10 tells us, “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.” Husbands fearful for their wives and children. Mothers fearful for their nursing babies. Children fearful of the thunderous roar of chariots and hoof beats. Then fear turned to anger as accusations against Moses and I told you so language could be heard throughout the desert.

When it looked like they were trapped, Moses called upon God and encouraged the people with these words, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14) Hope to cross the Red Sea.

What happened next has been immortalized in print and film over generations. God made a dry-land path across the Red Sea. The Israelites crossed, and when Pharaoh’s army followed, the sea swallowed every last Egyptian. The Israelites never saw the Egyptian army again! God always keeps His Word!

Rather than an imposing body of water before you and an army of chariots behind you, a busy schedule may pursue you from the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning until the last piece of laundry is folded, the last child stops asking for a drink of water, and the last item on your to-do list is moved to tomorrow.

Your Red Sea may be an aging parent, a wayward child, or empty-nest syndrome. Your Red Sea may be waiting for the doctor’s report, the job interview results, or reconciliation with a loved one. Your Red Sea may be an empty checkbook, an empty pantry, and an empty gas tank. Your Red Sea may be a secret you have never shared while the thunder of shame and rejection beats in your ears.

Your Red Sea may be the fault of others or a creation of your own decisions. But here is the good news! God sees you. He can make a way in the desert and streams in your wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19b) God either placed you where you are or allowed circumstances to bring you to this place.

Hebrews 13:6 reminds us that during times of great stress or insecurity we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Do you feel trapped between a rushing army and a raging sea? Perhaps God is testing your faith. Perhaps He is weaving you into a beautiful masterpiece, and for now you are only allowed to see the jagged threads on the underside of the cloth. Perhaps He is preparing to open the sea and allow you to walk across on dry land. 

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you… The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” He is Hope to cross your Red Sea.

© Joyce Powell

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