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)
A profound statement amidst such brash questioning by his people. Yet Moses’ statements here are even more prolific if one but lingers 10 or 11 chapters back to a man who stood before the voice of God and did some questioning of his own. This after all, is the man who replied to the calling of God with such phrases as: “Who am I?” “They will not believe me,” “I am not eloquent,” “send someone else.” Surely, this is a man who had come realize that His journey, which we but critically read of today, was far more about who the LORD is than who they are.
Note also that his words “you need only to be still” are as often translated “you have only to be silent.” The “not eloquent” man we once met in the beginnings of Exodus has now stood before the people of God to offer these words of wisdom, encouragement, and strength.
Brother and sisters, you need only, in faith, to watch what Lord is capable of, he tells them.
In the absence of your ability, the LORD shall display His.