THE FEAR OF THE LORD
Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Israel had enough in Egypt. They had become a country within a country. They were slaves to the Egyptian nation. Crying out to Jehovah, the Israelites begged for freedom from their bondage in Egypt. God responded with an unusual and hidden display of his power. He hardened Pharaoh's heart. This unusual when we think of what God could have done. He could have destroyed Pharaoh and the entire nation in a moment. In a flash, the Israelite’s problems would have been over. But to show them his grace and judgment, God hardened the heart of Pharaoh over a period of time that prolonged the sufferings of the Israelites. Over time the wickedness of sin in the hearts of unbelievers is displayed through Pharaoh while the longing for God would be increased among the Israelites.
God led them out of Egypt and destroyed Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites were free from bondage and persecution. But the power and might displayed by God was quickly forgotten by His people. They saw themselves move from one enslavement to another. Their movement into the desert was in time viewed by them not as freedom but as another horrendous experience. It was so bad that they longed to return to Egypt and give up on Moses, God’s appointed leader.
The faith they had in God to deliver them from Egypt evaporated in the desert. The promise God offered was freedom to follow Him. Their faith in his deliverance was the same faith that God had a reason and purpose for them in the desert. How quickly we loose heart when our faith is challenged by different and difficult circumstances.
Prayer: The faith you have given us for today‘s challenges is sufficient for tomorrow. Help us to be mindful of the fact that you give us no more than we can handle from day to day and from circumstance to circumstance. By your power keep us faithful and true to our calling as Christians.
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, by Rev. Bruce W. Gimbel, 2006.