And 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. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward (Exodus 14:13-15)
It’s amazing how quickly our minds forget. Only a few days after begging the Israelites to leave, following the death of the firstborn throughout Egypt, Pharaoh and his men regretted their decision. So the Egyptians got their army together and took off in pursuit of the recently freed slaves.
During the same time, the Israelites realized the Egyptian army was in pursuit so they turned on Moses and accused him of leading them out into the wilderness to die. Their rationale was it would have been better to die as slaves in Egypt than to be pursued and killed in the wilderness. How quickly they forgot how God had worked many miracles on their behalf.
With remarkable faith and confidence, Moses told the panicking people, not to be afraid. Instead he told them to stand and watch what the Lord was about to do once again on their behalf. While Moses did not know exactly how God was going to intervene, he knew God was going to take care of them. Paralyzed with fear, the people observed what it was the Lord was going to do.
In telling the people to stand still, Moses wanted them to understand God was going to fight their battle and they would not have to lift a finger. As things turned out, Moses was exactly right! But at the same time, in order for them to see what God would do, it was necessary for them to go through the parted waters of he Red Sea. So Moses having told the people to stand still…now had to tell them to get moving.
There are things which come up in our lives that only God can handle. There are also situations and daily experiences we face in which none of us have the answers. But our hope and peace comes from the fact God has the answers. Recognition of this at times leads a person to “stand still” and see what God will do. It is a matter of trust and faith.
On the flip side, while people cannot always solve their problems, God may tell us to get moving so He can solve them. This is now a matter of obedience. In fact, all spiritual experience is about faith and obedience, The two are not incompatible. The power to obey becomes available as we trust in God to act.
Without faith, there will be no obedience, and without obedience there is evidently no faith. So as the old hymn says, trust and obey…or as we read here…stand still and get moving.
Are you demonstrating your faith by being obedient?