The fascinating and well known events surrounding the crossing of the Red Sea, found in Ex. 13 and 14 provide for us a fascinating account of the LORD’s provision and the protection of His people. Interestingly enough, the story begins by immediately acknowledging the weakness of the men and women whom God is delivering. Indeed, these people are being led by Moses by the hand of the Lord out of captivity! Yet, we read that God has not led them down the road through the Philistine country, even though it was shorter.
“For God said, ‘If they face war they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’” (13:17b)
God is already preparing the Israelites for battle, setting in motion events that will help them to not turn back. This is but a mere foreshadow of the grumblings and murmurings and outright complaints that would be forged against both God and Moses a few verses later and for chapters to come. However, amidst this often told story of God’s miraculous provision for his people (who again find themselves traversing between a promise and its fulfillment), we encounter a Moses who boldly and wisely proclaims the power of God before an immediately retreating Israelite people.
The questions and complaints begin pouring out in Ch. 14 as the Egyptians approach , “marching after them.” The people begin to question the journey, the reasons, the difficulties, and even whether or not their original plight was all that bad to begin with.
And Moses replies 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.”
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (14:14)