They were trapped, and their leader’s advice simply didn’t make sense.
Four hundred years of slavery should have taught them not to disobey God, but it didn’t. Through a series of plagues, God finally convinced their ruler to free them, but no sooner had Pharaoh given the order than regret melted over him. His entire labor force had vanished.
Assembling an army, he pursued them through the wilderness, finally catching them at the Red Sea. The newly liberated captives panicked and adopted a disobedient spirit again. They complained and accused their leader of bringing them into the wilderness to die.
Moses’ advice to the people is still apropos during times of restlessness. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm (Exodus 14:14 NLT).
Patting my bottom was the only way to get me to sleep when I was a baby. Any motion would awaken me. Even as a middle-age adult, I still have problems staying still. I tend to shake my foot or leg when sitting, and I still enjoy my wife rubbing my head or arm as I’m falling asleep.
I also haven’t completely conquered the urge to jump ahead of God instead of being still while he accomplishes his purpose in my life’s details. Fortunately, this verse comes to mind when I’m tempted.
Regardless of what battles God allows us to fight or what unpleasant circumstances we encounter, he wants us to quit struggling. Our stillness recognizes his control and reflects our trust that he can handle the situation better than us. He’ll give wisdom for our next steps.
The seas of unforgiveness, anger, financial meltdown, family difficulties, aging parents, injuries, and disease often appear deep and wide, but if we’ll be still…stay calm, God will show us how to come out dry on the other side.
Prayer: Father, when we’re tempted to take matters into our hands and not trust You, remind us we need Your wisdom not our own.
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