Delaying Dutifully During DelieveranceAugust 14, 2013 at 10:42 am | Posted in Exodus | 1 Comment
Tags: alliteration, Chosen People, commentary on Exodus, Exodus 14, Moses, Red Sea, Sunday School lessons on Exodus, waiting for God, waiting on God
God’s people cried and sighed and groaned. Then they were delivered, and it did not really have anything to do with their own strength, merits, or attributes. We call them “God’s chosen people” because God did the choosing. Like Christians today, they could not boast of themselves, when basically all they did was: “get chosen.” The Lord does not choose His people in the same way that a captain picks teams for volleyball. God doesn’t always pick the best players based on past performance. He often picks the puny and rejected so that He gets the glory.
When the prayers of the Israelites were answered, they must have cheered. “We’ve been delivered!” But then they paused before the Red Sea and they heard the distant hoofbeats, the churning chariot wheels, the trumpets, the war cries… coming from just beyond the horizon. “What if,” they wondered, “God delivered us only for this! For a slaughter?”
Waiting on God is sometimes harder than working for God. Sometimes it’s easier to cry out to God in a faithless panic than to wait faithfully with God-honoring calm assurance for Him to do what’s best. Our battles are supposed to be the Lord’s battles. Our deliverance is really God’s deliverance. If you were chosen by God to be saved, remember that He did the saving. And now that the flesh, the world, and the devil have a bull’s eye on your forehead, and they want to kill you, how are you going to fight? Will you compromise? You can’t compromise with the devil or any of God’s enemies. Will you scheme and manipulate? Will you fight the battle with carnal weapons: gossip, hypocrisy, backbiting, self-help books, common sense? Or will you wait to see the Lord fight the battle. Obey Him and get into the Red Sea, as crazy as that sounds, and just go where He leads.
And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Moses basically told them, “God’s got this under control – shut your mouths.”
And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
“Shut your mouths and go forward.” What if, as Christians, we just shut our mouths from complaining and grumbling and slyly airing our complaints about God? What if we just went where He told us? Just forgave everybody who cheated us and lied to us and played dirty tricks on us? Just gave it to God even though it seems like we can’t afford not to fight back? Just loved everybody we met – especially the seemingly unlovable?
When Jesus rescued me, He brought me out of a condition much worse spiritually than bondage in Egypt. What in the world makes me think He can’t get me across the Red Sea and into Canaan?