While reading in Exodus this morning, the account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea was part of the text. The euphoria of being delivered from bondage in Egypt suddenly disappeared as the former slaves noticed that Pharaoh and his army were hot on their heels. On one side they were apparently trapped by the sea and on the other side was an angry army. What to do?
The fearful mass of people began crying out to the Lord and to Moses. They assumed that the ground on which they stood would become their graves. The situation did appear daunting as viewed from ground level. Moses gives instruction that that can be summarized in these four simple statements. (I apologize in advance if these summations appear cheesy, but they hit me like this and have been easy for me to remember.)
All four statements indicate that the answer to their problem was in the upward direction. They are statements worthy of our hearing when we face many of life’s issues. Here is what Moses told them,
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.
1. Buck Up
Moses told them to fear not. That not of fear was swelling inside of them. This was like a slap in the face. Get it together, people! God did not bring you this far to desert you.
2. Stand Up
Had they not been in a deserted region, I’m sure they would have been cowering behind whatever they could find. But that is not the position to take. Stand firm is what Moses told them. Plant your feet and raise up so that you can see.
3. Look Up
It may sound like the first two exhortations are laying the ground work for the Israelites to be their own salvation. Such is not the case. See the salvation of the LORD indicates that they were to be in a position to observe the handiwork of God. God would protect them. God would deliver them. God would defeat their enemy. He would fight for them. In fact, they would never see the Egyptian army again.
4. Shut Up
Quit complaining. Quit crying out against the Lord and against Moses. Quit trying to talk out some sort of strategy that would work. There was nothing to talk about. God had already promised his deliverance of his people for his glory. Now was time to be quiet and observe.
When faced with situations that appear to defy the promises of God, the answer is in the upward position.