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Devotionals

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Posted by kmaxx@mts.net on April 7, 2019 at 7:35 PM

Exodus 14


You have been traveling on a long journey with a crowd of people and are naturally tired. It’s called the journey of life. If only you could rest for a week! But the urgency of your mission drives you forward, so you continue on. Suddenly you are confronted with an insurmountable obstacle! You believed that God was leading you, until now. You were sure your goal was His goal. Now what?

 

There is absolutely no way, humanly speaking, that you can move forward. Not only is the path ahead obstructed, but as you look over your shoulder you discover you are being pursued. Is it your past catching up with you? Are these demons sent by the evil one to taunt you in an impossible situation? It doesn’t take long for panic to set in.

 

How many of us have been in a similar state? Certainly the children of Israel knew what it was like. They began to doubt themselves….had they misinterpreted God’s direction for their lives? Could they trust their leader Moses? For that matter, could they trust God? All that seemed so stable began to fall away. Better to have gone back to slavery in Egypt where the known was at least predictable, rather than the vast “unknown” facing them now.


In front was the Red Sea; behind, the Egyptians. They were terrified! Easy enough for Moses to say “Do not be afraid” (Exodus 14:13). Didn’t he realize they had risked everything they owned, even their lives, to follow him and now look where it got them? When we are distressed there are always those happy people who will give us reasons why we should stand still and see God work. Don’t they understand the beating of our heart is going to explode our chest wall? We can hardly breathe for fear of what is going to happen. Will this troop of Pharaoh’s men slaughter us in the wilderness? How could Moses remain so calm? Weren’t his own wife and children at risk?

 

As we look around us we see there are many different responses to similar situations. We learn from observation that people make choices regarding their reactions to hard times. Some people beat upon the rocks with their fists. Some scream epithets at God. Others collapse under the pressure, knowing in their tired state they cannot swim across the Red Sea….better to just lie down and die.


As we face our own calamities, what motivates us to respond? Fortunately Moses was listening to God. God spoke into the situation. “Raise your staff over the Red Sea”(:16). What? Why? How? Aren’t these our usual questions? Moses had expressed his complete reliance on his God to find a solution. “Stand firm and you will see the salvation the Lord will bring you today” (:13). Do not waver in your faith; God is able to deliver you, he told the Israelites. In fact “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (:14). Now how easy is that? We have this driving urge to “do” something, don’t we?

 

Reflection:


How often do we focus on the rock, the obstruction? Or we look at our own inadequacy, our fatigue, our poverty and decide it’s all too hard for God. So we will fix it? What a joke! Moses had it right. Fix your eyes on God because even the Egyptians will know [learn through this scenario] that I am God! (:18).

 

Jesus, who is our greatest example, fixed His eyes on God in order to endure all that mankind could hurl at Him. Are your eyes fixed on Him?

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