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Choosing to go forward ...

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Have you ever wondered how it came to be that the children of Israel became trapped between Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and the Red Sea? How could this happen when, as we read in Exodus 13:21 that the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night?

Has this ever happened to us? We sought the Lord’s will in a situation. We’re following it to the best of our ability, and we end up some place that we never would have chosen for ourselves?

The children of Israel cried out when this happened to them. In Exodus 14:10-12, we read:

And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.

Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

Was Moses to blame?

Not when we read Exodus 13:17-18 which says:

Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.

So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.

What a perfect example of God seeing something we can’t see, and protecting us from it. This is another reason why having faith in Him is so important.

Standing by the Red Sea, Moses was faced with an important personal choice to make as he stood before the people and listened to the fear in their cries.

Exodus 14:13-15, records Moses’ decision, and what God replied:

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”

American author, Ellen White, wrote this:

The people were weary and terrified, yet if they held back when Moses bade them advance, God would never have opened the path for them. It was “by faith” that “they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land” (Hebrews 11:29)

In marching down to the very water, they showed that they believed the word of God as spoken by Moses. They did all that was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel divided the sea to make a path for their feet.

The great lesson here is taught for all time. Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, “Go forward.”

We should obey this command, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all. Unbelief whispers, “Let us wait till the obstructions are removed, and we can see our way clearly:” but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things.” PP290 (End of passage)

Today and every day going forward, let’s stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for us.

Let’s remember that the Lord fights for us, and we shall hold our peace.

And then, in faith, let’s courageously advance, hoping all things, believing all things.

We can do this because God’s word is Truth! Amen

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