“Don’t Just Stand There”
Heavenly Father, You are the Lord of time and history. I praise You for Your wonderful, majestic power.
Read Exodus 14:1-18
 Then the LORD said to Moses,  “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.  Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this.  When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!”  So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him.  He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.  The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.  The Egyptians-all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops-pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.  As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.  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?  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!”  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.  The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  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.  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.  The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was the Israelites' response to seeing the Egyptians (10)?
I don’t know about you, but often I can get so busy and stressed that I forget there’s a loving God at the center of the universe who’s in control. It’s easy to think that good outcomes depend on my hard work, and fear of failure (or of what people might think of me) drives me on to redouble my efforts. Are you like that? Here’s a reminder for the Israelites (and us!) about who’s in charge of our destinies and about the kind of relationship God wants to have with us. They’re told to head into what looks like a trap (3) which makes them vulnerable to recapture by the Egyptians (4). The Israelites are terrified (10), but despite Moses’ implied concern (15), he is able to encourage them to stand firm and watch God fight for them (14). God will show his people where power really resides, and that’s not with human armies, powerful empires and seemingly overwhelming resources (9). The same call comes down to us in our anxiety and concern, echoed many times in the history of God’s people: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (14).
When faced with danger or doubt, you might like to say, “Be still and know that I am God” several times on those days.
Jesus my Lord, open my eyes to see my world just as You do. Bring Your holy Word and Your peace into my waking hours.