Scripture: And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14 ESV
Observations: The drama escalates when Pharaoh and his servants second guess their decision to set Israel free—creating a labor vacuum. So they ready their chariots and charge after God’s people encamped seaside (14:5-9). And as the Egyptian army draws near, the Israelites sass Moses for his terrible choice for a graveyard and continue to rant against him for leading them to their doom, contending they would be better off serving the Eqyptians (14:10-12). But Moses does not respond to their juvenile behavior, and instead, he tells them (above verses) to:
- Stop fearing.
- Stand firm.
- Be silent.
- Be watchful.
Indeed, the ensuing battle is Yahweh’s. He will fight for them, and they will never see those oppressive Egyptians again.
Takeaway: It’s a drop-the-mic moment and excellent advice for any of us when gripped with fear. It’s also a credit to Moses for just how far he has grown in leadership skills. The once defensive Moses, who also whined to the Lord when the people earlier grumbled against him when Pharaoh increased their workload, instead exhorts his fellow people to act as trusting children of their almighty God. And on what basis? He is a covenant keeper. As foretold to their patriarch Abraham, Yahweh will deliver his people after 400 years of affliction in a foreign land and bring judgment on the people they serve, taking great possessions with them (Genesis 15:13-14).
So how does this apply to you and me? We, Christ’s brothers and sisters, who live in this post-resurrection age of the New Covenant, possess a superior covenant to those of Abraham and Moses. Our almighty Savior has defeated our only genuine threat to taking possession of our eternal Promised Land: unmitigated sin. So when worldly enemies press in on us, we would do well to:
- Turn our hearts toward our almighty Savior and receive his unfailing love that overcomes our fears (1 John 4:18)
- Stand firm on his Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)
- Be still and know that he is God, and we are not (Psalm 46:10)
- Watch, for victory belongs to the Lord (Deuteronomy 20:4)
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your warrior Son who fought and gained ultimate victory in the cosmic battle for our souls. Would you please help us through the sanctifying work of your Holy Spirit to grow in our love for and trust in you and your Son, resisting fear-mongering and whining while appropriating your Son’s Gospel of peace as we stand firm, watch, and wait for your redemption? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling