February 2 I Friday

Exodus 29-30

Matthew 21:23-46


“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.”  —Exodus 14:13-14


After 400 years of captivity, the Israelites marched boldly out of Egypt. “We’re heading for Canaan! We’re going home!” This was their expectancy. Three times God had affirmed He would bring them out of Egypt and into Canaan, so naturally, they expected a smooth, straightforward journey. Led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they followed the route God had marked out for them, but it was anything but smooth and straightforward. It was a route that confused, frustrated and even angered them.

The pillar of cloud had led the Israelites right onto the bank of the Red Sea. Too deep to wade through, too wide to bridge over and too long to go around, in excess of 2 million Hebrew people were utterly trapped. Here, they faced the first big crisis of the Exodus. They cannot cross the Red Sea, and while grumbling to Moses about it, they face their second crisis. In the distance, they see the silhouette of the Egyptian army hot on their trail, and that precipitated their third crisis—they were terrified and panicked.

The moment we face a crisis we are usually inclined to think, “Oh, man! We were better off before,” and this is exactly what the Hebrew people thought. They complained bitterly to Moses, even blaming him for it. God will not only lead us on unpredictable roads, but into unexpected battles. Being in the will of God does not exempt us from times of crisis, but we do not take the governance of it upon our own shoulders. That will only lead to worry and panic, but in putting the governance on Christ’s shoulders, there is an undergirding peace He gives us that says, “This is His business, His battle and He will fight for us.”

When we are led by God, sometimes He will orchestrate it so that our problems will destroy each other. God used the first problem of the Red Sea, which the Israelites could not cross, to destroy the second problem of the ensuing Egyptian army, which resolved the third problem of the people’s fear and panic. God always knows what He’s doing and there are good reasons for every route He takes us on.

Moses said to the people, “The LORD will fight for you. You need only to be still.” If we are going to work effectively with God, and deepen our relationship with Him, there are two essential things we need to stand firm in: obey what He says and trust who He is…and God will bring us to the other side of any crisis we face.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are sufficient for any crisis I may face. I ask that You deepen my obedience to You and dependence on You, especially in times of trouble. Thank You, Lord.

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