Exodus 14:4 ”And 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.”
God told Moses about the plan because He knew this was not going to be easy for them. He knew what they would see with their eyes. He wanted to assure them that He was aware and they just needed to follow the plan. He would take care of the rest.
Exodus 14:10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
They forgot that God had plan! Their focus was on what they saw.
13 Moses answered the people, “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. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Do Not Be Afraid:
The Egyptians represented the past. Did the Israelites really desire to live a life of slavery? No! That’s why they took the step of faith onto a new path. What they knew and were “comfortable” with had to be left behind.
Fear focuses on what we see.
Faith focuses on what God has promised.
Fear intimidates, cripples, lies, manipulates, steals, divides, doubts
God has given us His promise in times of fear:
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (GW) Don't be afraid, because I am with you. Don't be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.
I was reminded of a promise I had from God. I picked up my phone and listened to it again:
“You are fully equipt and fully ready for battle. God is going to take you into a new season. You will do things that your personality has never allowed you to do before.”
Why do we fear? Because the unknown is uncomfortable!
“Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” - Moriah Williams
Don’t focus on what you see or don’t see; focus on God’s promise. You might say, “God did not give me a promise like He did you.” To that I say, “Yes, He did!” (Bible)
God spoke to their posture in facing fear. How were they to stand? Firm!
Firm: to become stronger; immovable, stable, unyielding, unaltered in spite of pressure or force
Fear causes us to bend under pressure.
Faith enables us to stand firm.
God had a better plan for the Israelites in spite of what they saw. It was the perfect plan. He redirects them:
Exodus 14:15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Stand firm people!
James 1:3-4,”For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (NLT)
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Fear convinces us to trust in ourselves.
Faith encourages us to trust in God.
Instead of surrendering to fear because of what you see, stop; be still and take a look at what God is doing.
God did what He said He would:
Exodus 14:19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. 29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him “
Through the years, there have been times that fear has challenged my faith in regards to that promise.
Closing: “What do you fear?”
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”