God is speaking to the Israelites as they leave Egypt. They come to the Red Sea, which they cannot cross. The people begin to complain that it would be better to serve the Egyptians than die in the wilderness. Moses speaks to the people, encouraging them to trust the Lord who will not allow them to perish. Moses lifts his rod, the sea parts, and the millions of people cross safely.
The Israelites saw their enemy, experienced terror, and stood waiting for God to do something. Apart from God they were lost. They could not defend themselves.
I’ve always read this story focused on God’s acting on their behalf in defeating their enemies who wanted to bring them back into slavery or kill them. The people waited for God to act, and when He did the enemy was defeated and their circumstances changed.
Today, I see something different as I live on the far side of the cross. The law was fulfilled, our sins forgiven and we are in right standing with God. It isn’t about our behaviors but rather about His! Jesus came to fully reconcile us to God in relationship. He does the work while we experience the benefit. It’s His gift to us.
Throughout Scripture God is less interested in behavior than the heart of a person. From God selecting David as king based on his heart and not appearance, to the saving of the prostitute Rahab, and the Moabitess Ruth, because of their heart’s toward the Israelite God, to you and me who came to a place in our life where we turned toward Him in the middle of our mess and He greeted us, “Welcome home, Kid” as we turn our heart to Him who loved us first.
Today, although we stand right with God we still have moments like the Israelites when we are scared, anxious, worried or feeling hopeless. In the Old Testament, Moses tells the people, “stand still and SEE the salvation of the Lord” as an eternal manifestation of His care and concern.
Now I understand that “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace,” Exodus 14:14) has less to do with watching His marvelous, supernatural intervention in our circumstances, which He still does, but rather that He fights for US. The fighting He does is internal. Our circumstances may not change but He fights to release us from fear, anxiety, panic and hopelessness. He works to demonstrate the soundness of our foundation in Him. Instead of fretting and trying to figure stuff out while running here and there trying to make our lives work, He invites us to stand still, to hold our peace and to wait and watch as He manifests Himself. He invites us into a moment of intimacy. As we seek Him, as we gaze upon Him, as we listen to what He speaks into our heart we are reminded that all IS well. He still sits on the throne. He still loves us. He is aware of every thought and problem we encounter and He remains with us, for He lives in us and if we allow Him, He will adjust our foundation that the windows of our heart will see as He sees. No doubt the storm remains, but we see the borders of our storm and the blue sky beyond and in that WE are changed.