(Exodus 14:5-31) Most of us know of the story when God parted the Red Sea for the Isrealites to cross, then swallowed up the Egyptians. The scene started with a doubting people, the Isrealites, fearing for their live thinking somehow that God wouldn’t take care of them in the face of the attack by Pharoh’s army. Once God led them across the parted sea, and into safety, they turned back to trust in the Lord out the kind of fear we are called to have of Him.
What sticks out to me is two key elements. One unfortunate fact is that we are not unlike the Isrealites even still today. They experienced safety while God brought about the plagues on Egypt, they saw His power and protection first-hand, yet in time of trouble they rose up in fear forgetting what God had done for them only a short time ago. We so easily fall into this time and time again. It would seem that we can get caught up in the cycle of forgetting God through the good times, feeling on our own during the bad times, and then turning back to Him. Why is it that we have such a hard time keeping complete faith in Him and the work He does in our lives? I think it comes down to sin really. Our lives seem to be an ongoing battle against our own sin nature. I’m so thankful that I have the Holy Spirit in me to help to fight against that battle, however there are still times where my mind forgets, begins to worry, and I have to turn back to God and ask Him for forgiveness and strength. We need to be going to God daily so that we can more easily turn to Him in times of hardship, it’s builtin.
The other key that stood out to me in this passage is the very end. After looking back to see what mighty thing God had done, parting the Red Sea and defeating the Egyptians, the Isrealites had a fear of the Lord that caused them to turn back to Him and trust in Him. It’s that fear of the Lord that, in this western world I live in, becomes so easily lost. This is spreading throughout the globe, but we have become such an independent, self-seeking, people that we have really lost the kind of fear we are suppose to have of God. We have also, as Christians, moved our teaching to a Love only message. We have stopped the “fire and brimstone” approach to preaching, which isn’t exactly the correct direction either. We seem to have a hard time balancing our teaching between God’s love and the fear of Him. I truly think that we need to work harder to bring a balance back into our teachings. At times we can get so focused on small details of what God has done and can easily miss the big picture. We need to lift our heads and open our eyes once in awhile so that we might see God’s bigger desire for our lives.
In the end, I find that keeping a daily walk with Him, and focusing on His greatest commandment of love your neighbor as yourself and above all love Him, these are the keys to Christian living. We need to stop the constant desire to have God figured out. It’s a fruitless search, one that will only serve to hurt our faith in Him. Amen!