Early this morning my heart dove into Exodus 13 and 14. When I came to these words and the promise that followed I felt like reading it over and over. Each time it was more stirring. I grasped the message of how we are to respond in a time of trail not only in Old Testament times but today, here and now. The application of God’s teaching was vivid.
These were the words of Prophet Moses as he answered fear of the children of Israel (Exodus 14:13) when they cried out in fear to the Lord.
“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.”
They could not see where they were being led. Behind them was a great danger. In front of them was no tangible evidence of anything but a fearsome wilderness.
Surely we can each relate in both large and small ways to this dilemma in our own life experiences. Aren’t we constantly faced with moments both in daily life and in our larger life choices when we are called to “step out boldly” with trust in God and in His Promises to us? I can relate to many instances when I have felt that there was only a fearsome wilderness of the unknown before me. I had no tangible evidence of outcome either of prayer or promise. I had no evidence of support. More frightening, (to my mortal heart) I did not have a prophet near lead me and quell my fears. I did have Faith in Jesus Christ with direct access to His Altar. I have The Promises of God that light my way with the potency of the Pillar of Fire. This is precisely when this scripture can speak to our hearts.
It is life-altering to find that God is with us, more- that He leads us forward faithfully.
In the commentary by David Guzik, I found an insightful outline of Exodus 14:13-14 that explained the commands so that we can clearly see a way of “walking through a challenge” using The Lord’s Wisdom. I formed a summation in this way.
Pause Fear: “Aware, Beware” Our only help is God.
Stand Still: “Attend, Bend” Allow all time for all strength to shift to God/ Let Peace reveal His Plan.
Draw back in Prayer: “Go to God” Listen, Trust, Seek Him. Seek His Counsel at His Holy Altar. Recognize His Infinite Ability. This is the source of Godly Courage.
Believe to His Promise: “Believe, Receive” Salvation is yours. The Lord will fight for you.
Step forward with The Eternal View: “Act, Walk the Holy Fact” The
present and the eternal both are raised to God, His ability and power are omniscient.
Moses, known to be more humble than any other man in the Old Testament (Num. 12:3), brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt and led them to the Holy Land that God had promised them. When we apply the courage of responding with these convictions it necessarily humbles the parts of ourselves that have been conditioned to respond ‘from the gut’; to lash out with first response, react from panic, protect ourselves and create barriers, forge ahead using falsely formed planning and most especially the mode of anxiety-driven responses that can be everything but productive, even harmful. The firm command from Moses gave them resolve to move beyond fear and act with courage.
Further in the next passage (Exodus 14:15-18) when Moses cries out to God in desperate prayer, God’s answer “Why do you cry out to me?” The Lord prompts Moses that it is time now for action. Moses had encouraged the faith of the people by showing confidence and great courage – now it was time to act.
( Reflection; LWillows)
Commentary on Exodus 14:13-14 by David Guzik
Exodus 14:13-14 Moses responds with great courage. Commentary Study from David Guzik David Guzik, Bible Commentaries; Blue Letter Bible/Exodus
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
a. Do not be afraid: At this point, Moses had no idea how God would help them in the situation. All he knew was God certainly would help. In a sense, Moses knew he was in such a bad situation that God had to come through.
i. When we see that our only help is God, we are more likely to trust Him. Sometimes it is the little things – the things we think we can do in our own strength – that get us down, not the big things that we know only God can do.
b. Stand still: Moses told the people of Israel to stop. This is often the Lord’s direction to the believer in a time of crisis. Despair will cast you down, keeping you from standing. Fear will tell you to retreat. Impatience will tell you to do something now. Presumption will tell you to jump into the Red Sea before it is parted. Yet as God told Israel He often tells us to simply stand still and hold your peace as He reveals His plan.
c. See the salvation of the Lord: Moses didn’t know what God would do. Yet he knew what the result would be. He knew that God would save His people and that the enemies of the Lord would be destroyed. He could say to Israel, “the Lord will fight for you.”
i. “Salvation is used here in its literal sense of saving life, or of victory instead of defeat in war. As the Old Testament moves on, ‘salvation’ will gain a more spiritual and less material sense (Psalm 51:12), although the Hebrew was not conscious of any sharp contrast between the two.” (Cole)
d. You shall see them no more forever: The idea behind this implies much more than at first look. Moses perhaps spoke in terms of eternity as well as their present time.
© David Guzik