Read Exodus 14:10-14
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (NLT)
It has been said that faith becomes most real when we face disaster if God doesn’t turn up. Most of our lives, thankfully, aren’t filled with disaster so our exercise of faith may be quite so obvious. It is when we have our backs to the wall that we cry out to God. All our other options have evaporated so only God is left.
This was the situation facing the liberated Hebrews. The Egyptian army was pursuing them in order to wipe them out. And at their backs was the Sea of Reeds. This was a shallow sea that blocked their way out of Egypt. We know that God miraculously arranged wind and tides to allow them to cross that watery landscape, but the same didn’t happen for the Egyptians.
Like the Hebrews, we can panic and wonder what on earth God is doing. He promises deliverance but seems to only deliver us into danger. He gets us out of one tight spot and straight into another one.
The message of Moses is the message for us. Don’t let fear take hold of your throat. Don’t panic. Trust that God knows what he is doing even if you do not. Your fighting capabilities are exhausted so quit trying to fight the battle ahead of you and let him do some fighting for you.
Deep down, we might know this to be wise counsel. But let’s face it, when we have our backs to the wall it is a challenge to apply such counsel to ourselves.