What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?
In Exodus 14, we find a mass of men, women, and children who have just been released from the clutches of a people determined to destroy them. The manner of their rescue is spectacular: God shows supremacy over the deities of Egypt and power over their god-king, Pharaoh, through the Passover. Their release is more than just freedom: they’re moving toward the fulfillment of God’s generations-old pledge to Abraham that they would be a nation in a Land of Promise.
Suddenly, though, victory and joy become terror and anger.
Reading the Scriptures, you can almost hear the frightened gasp of the journeying tribes as people turned to see the billows of dust kicked up by the chariots and horsemen of Egypt. None of the Israelites had been tested in battle–they had barely survived genocide and slavery. With a murderous army behind and impassable sea before them, it must have appeared that all hope was lost. There was nothing they could do…and what started with an air of victory would surely end in crushing, devastating defeat.
In the midst of this, as the Israelites angrily question why they have left Egypt, Moses proclaims to his 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. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Ex 14:13-14). We know the rest of the story, but they didn’t. They had no idea that the Red Sea was about to become synonymous with the miracles of the God of the impossible.
There are moments when, in the midst of pursuing God’s best for his people, we come to the impossible. There are times when instances of incredible victory turn quickly to opportunities to be frozen in fear or to act in anger; times when we know there is nothing we can do. I believe in those moments, Moses’ cry rings out to us with the promise of God’s activity: The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. We don’t know the rest of the story, but He does–and that place of impossibility could very well become synonymous with the miraculous.
My prayer for us is that we would be positioned to watch God do the miraculous as we make time to simply be still.
Be encouraged: the Lord is fighting for you!