Living by Faith
When we live by faith, we discover this great truth: God’s promises are enough.
On their way out of Egypt, Moses and the Israelites were confronted by an insurmountable hurdle: the Red Sea. After striding out of Egypt “defiantly” (Exodus 14:8), God’s people found themselves pursued and soon to be overtaken at the edge of the waters—and as “Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel … feared greatly.” In their terror, they “cried out to the LORD” and began to berate and criticize Moses (v 10-11).
What would faith do in this situation? Exodus 14:13 presents us with Moses’s response to the people: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”
What a dramatic expression of faith on the part of Moses! He has little going for him at this point: the Egyptian chariots are at his back, the sea stretches out ahead, and he is surrounded by complaints and criticisms—and all he has is his staff and the command and promise of God.
But that was enough for Moses. All of his trust and confidence rested in his belief in God’s promises. If God had said it, Moses believed it—and God had said that He would bring the people out of Egypt, to Mount Sinai on the opposite side of the sea, and on into the promised land (Exodus 3:7-12). It was not Moses’ job to be concerned over the particulars. It was his job to trust and obey.
And the waters parted.
When the Egyptians tried to pursue the Israelites along the path through the sea, they were engulfed, never to be seen again (Exodus 14:27-28). Why? Because faith and presumption are two different things. The Egyptians were not living by faith in or in obedience to God. They had simply assumed that they could experience what the people of God experienced. They were wrong.
If God had said it, Moses believed it. And so can we, and so must we. We don’t have to worry about whether or not God will part the sea, but we do have to take God at His word and act accordingly. Some of us have never known the joy of standing, as it were, on the edge of dangerous waters and seeing God’s deliverance, because we’re so worried about how God is going to handle every little detail. We retreat in anxiety and hold back in doubt rather than standing firm. God has promised to take you to the promised land of eternity with Him. What is insurmountable to you and me is nothing to Him. And so He says, Don’t worry about the route by which you get home. I’ll take care of it. Just do what I told you, and trust in Me. His promises are enough. It is your job today simply to trust and obey.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Crossing the Red Sea
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2“Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. 3For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, 7and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. 9The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
10When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13And Moses said to the people, “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. 14The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
15The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
19Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night1 without one coming near the other all night.
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, 25clogging2 their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”
26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw3 the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
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