There’s a profound passage in the Bible where Israel approaches the waters of the Red Sea with Egypt in chase behind. As they stand before the lapping shore, Moses says:
Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. (Exodus 14:13-14)
As we all know, that’s exactly what happens. Just as Pharaoh seems prepared to strike them down, the waters part. Israel crosses the Red Sea on dry ground, and the waves close over the Egyptians that enter behind.
Last week, I told you about my ant problem in our kitchen. Well, we finally caved and called pest control. There’s still little ants every morning, but they aren’t moving too much by the time I open the curtains.
Ants creep me out! I’d like to say I had things under control before we called a terminator; however, the truth is my small problem was spiraling out of my hands. The gentleman who came to our door didn’t even hesitate at the infestation. He knew exactly how to rid the house of its invaders.
I needed someone with that kind of knowledge. But in the big picture of real life, our problems don’t always have a terminator on hand. The truth is sometimes we face an open sea expanding before us, the problems too large for any one person to handle. So how in our limited abilities can we face the troubles of life?
The answer is written in Moses’s words. The Lord fights for us in our moments of silence.
See, God doesn’t expect us to always have the knowledge or ability to handle the circumstances in our lives. As a matter-of-fact, in Proverbs 20:24 it says:
Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?
God is our terminator, not in the sense that He promises to rid life of its troubles, but in the sense that He has the knowledge and the wisdom we lack. The most profound concept we can take from the Red Sea is God’s heart toward His people. When Israel approached the shores, they grumbled before Moses.
How could you have done this to us? We will die here.
Essentially, they also grumbled to God. As Proverbs tells us, their path had already been ordained by Him. Our lives are within His sovereignty, even when we can’t understand the waters rising before us.
Sometimes, when troubles seem all around, we need to rest before our Savior in quiet trust. Ironically, God could have turned away from His people and their grumbling hearts, yet He remained faithful. In kindness and mercy, by a miracle uniquely designated for a time and place in history, He rescued Israel from the hands of Pharaoh.
God doesn’t promise a miraculous escape from every trouble in our lives. He actually says we’ll encounter these problems (John 16:33). But when the waters rise and we can’t see a way out, He remains at our side. Our God is faithful, full of mercy and love. He doesn’t abandon His people or show a disinterest in our suffering (John 14:17, Joshua 1:9).
At the end of this week, we celebrate Good Friday—Jesus experiencing the ultimate suffering on our behalf. The Bible talks about Jesus as a Great High Priest, one who sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-16). Made to be like us in every way, suffering to the greatest extent possible in life, and yet without sin.
So when you face the current of something insurmountable, you are never alone. Whether in prayer or in life, God stands faithful along the shore. It doesn’t surprise Him when we encounter trials. He knows our footsteps in advance and where this journey will take us before we get there. We can rest assured we face problems with Him in tow, and any seas on the horizon are within His domain. So today, if you’re struggling with something larger than you, step back and turn to the One able to ordain the path ahead.