Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 14:15-16 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 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.
Exodus 14:15-16 (MSG)
God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.
“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to move forward [toward the sea]. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the sons of Israel may go through the middle of the sea on dry land.” -AMPLIFIED
Have you ever been between the proverbial rock and a hard place? At this point that was exactly how the Israelites felt; the Sea in front of them and Pharaoh with his army behind. What to do… what to do?
And God says to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Basically, God was saying, “What are you standing around for? Get busy doing your job; lead the people!”
God promptly gives Moses instructions on what to do, “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.”
The Egyptians were hot on their trail. So God set about to do a miracle for the children of Israel that would benefit them on this hectic night, but confuse and fluster the Egyptians. Scripture tells us, “The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.” -Exodus 14:19-20 (MSG) Do not fear; God is on the job!
In obedience Moses did as God instructed him to do. Even though in the natural it made no sense at all in accordance with God’s instructions Moses stretched his hand that held the staff over the sea and God took over. “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and God, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.” -Exodus 14:21 (MSG) Can you see the sea peeling back in your mind’s eye? Take note of the fact that the ground that was then exposed was suddenly dry land.
The Israelites in obedience stepped out on that dried land; that moment s ago was covered in water. (No one had time to process what was happening; for it was happening so quickly.) The Egyptians were after them in full pursuit and there was nowhere else to go, but forward. “The Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” -Exodus 14:22 (NIV)
Of course Pharaoh pursued them. Blindly he guided his army into a place of extreme peril. Forgetting everything that had happened to him and his people before this point by the Hand of God; he blindly went forward. This great military leader, trained since childhood to handle extreme circumstances suddenly lost his head and all sense of danger plunging after the Israelites. There can be one explanation for this, Pharaoh in his stubbornness, his obstinacy, his bullheadedness, had lost all sense of reason. His heart had become so hardened; that he failed to see anything at all, but what lay immediately before him; the Israelites were within his grasp and he was going to crush them. He was actually about to feel the wrath of God.
The Israelites t needed to stop focusing on the problem that was behind them and get moving toward the solution that lay before them. Have you been focusing on the problem more than the solution that God has opened up before you? Trust Him and move forward!
My Prayer: Lord, too often I do focus on the problem instead of keeping my eyes on you. Forgive me. Help me to trust you more. I want to move forward in my life; not backward. Help me to keep my eyes trained on you and my ears in tune with your voice. You will make a way; even if there seems to be no way. I have seen this in the lives of the Israelites and of many others. I will trust that you will do it for me too.