As the Egyptians quickly approached the Israelites, there was no place for them to run. The mountains on both sides were bare, with no trees or caves to hide among. And the sea hemmed them in on the other side. It was an impossible situation! Scripture says that at this point, "The children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord." Exodus 14:10
If I close my eyes and concentrate... I can imagine the scene... I see my family, my children and grandchildren... standing with me... right there on the bank of the Red Sea. If I look to the right... rocky boulders stand piled up as mountains... to the left... I see bare rugged mountains.... and when I look behind me... there is the great Egyptian Army approaching. I can hear the wheels of their chariots and the rattling of sabers... their war cry is fierce... and as they are closing in... I can hear all the sounds of a murderous and bloodthirsty army. Quickly... by placing myself in their situation it was easy to depict the fears of the Israelites. Can you imagine their fear?
God understood the fear of the Israelites! And when that sudden fear comes over any of us... because we are in a crisis... our God not only understands, He is patient with
us. He knew that this was a very frightening experience for the Israelites. However... I think He was looking and hoping... that they would run to Him with those fears... and pray, "Lord, we are afraid! We know you have been faithful to deliver us. You delivered us in Egypt from the plagues and even the angel of death. We know you have the power to deliver us now. We place our lives into your hands, God!"
However... that is not what they chose to do... this was not the cry of their hearts. Instead... Scripture tells us, "They said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in
Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?... It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness." Exodus 14:11
They weren't humbled by what they faced... they were arrogant and sarcastic... almost to the point of blasphemy. Theirs was not the cry... of a people of faith... not at all.
As I tried to imagine what I would feel... and as I asked myself, "What would I do in the same situation?" I was forced to think about, what I do... when I am faced with a crisis? What happens to me when I am overcome with fear... because everything is coming down around me? There have been times that I... like the Israelites... have been quick to worry and fret... instead of falling on my knees and trusting my Lord.
God answered Israel in their crisis: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13 God wanted them to first deal with their fears... if they could do that... they would know that God's deliverance was available to them!! God would fight for them... and He would deliver them. This is a promise for us also... we must learn to let that promise be our strength and drive out the fear within us.
Listen... listen carefully... God is saying to you right at this moment, "Do not fear! Rest on my promises... I will fight for you! I will deliver you!"