Monday, April 1, 2019
Between Friday’s events in the life of Moses and today’s, there is a lot that happens: plaques and promises, broken promises and more plaques, death and deliverance. Take some time to read about it all in Exodus 7-14. At the end of those events, we read this:
Exodus 14:29-31 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
Let’s learn another of God’s faith lessons from this story. God has led the people of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea, and again their deliverance seems impossible. Pharaoh has decided he made a mistake and lost too much by letting the Israelites go, so he has organized the army and his pursuit is coming up fast on the rear of the entourage. The people are terrified because their focus has been shifted from God’s leadership to the enemies advance, and they begin to complain. They even wish they were back in their slavery. They have totally lost their focus on the goal and left their faith in God and His promises. They believe that the solution to this problem must come from themselves, and they are overwhelmed with the realization of their inability to handle it.
How often do we take our eyes off God’s leadership and promises and wish we could go back to the seeming comforts of our sinful ways? How often are we overwhelmed because we believe we must resolve all our difficulties and we know we cannot?
Back to the story. In one of the most exciting and encouraging statements in the entire Bible, Moses turns to the people and says with the authority of God Himself, “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 to be still.”
God tells Moses to have the people refocus on the goal and to move on. When they obeyed, God went to work to resolve the problem in a way that would bring glory to Himself. The people got out of the way by getting under way, and God provided a way. The waters of the sea were parted, and the people passed over on dry ground.
Notice how their focus had to stay on the goal. While they were crossing the sea, the water was piled up beside them. That’s scary! One look at that and fear could cause a panic. Jesus had to demonstrate this same lesson to Peter and the disciples in the New Testament when He came walking to them on the water. So long as Peter kept his eyes on Christ he was delivered from the waves. When he looked at the water he sank. The Israelites had to keep their focus on God in the pillar of fire or fear would have overwhelmed them as well.
When all was done, and the Egyptian army had been destroyed in the sea, God was completely glorified and the people finally got the point – their faith was to be in God alone.
Maybe it’s time for your faith to be refocused on God alone. What waves of circumstances, insurmountable obstacles, and approaching enemies have caused you to take your eyes off God? Your faith has been minimized by a wrong focus. Refocus on God, and your spirit will be restored, refreshed, and re-energized to reach the goal God has given you.
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith!