Tell them to Stand Calm and Watch
During my 27-year career as a Paramedic Firefighter, I worked tragic scenes; sometimes surrounded by terrified and hysterical family members or bystanders. It was imperative for us to calm them, so I could treat the victims. In Exodus 14, Moses found himself surrounded by several million such people overwhelmed in hysteria. After ten plagues had convinced Pharaoh to free Israel from bondage, they fled east into the wilderness. God told Moses, "Encamp at Pi-ha-hiroth, facing the Red Sea…For the people were wandering in the land and the wilderness has shut them in” (Ex. 14:1). Now entrapped, having the Red Sea before them, and with mountains to the north and south, great fear set in. In verse 5 it got worse: “Pharaoh took his army of chariots and he pursued the Israelites” Verse 10 reports that God’s people panicked hysterically and wandered in circles. Moses told the people, “Fear not, stand still & behold the salvation of God, which he will work for you to-day! For the Egyptians, you saw to-day, you shall see them no more” (Ex. 14:13). Suddenly, the Red Sea parted.
The time had come for Israel to stop circling aimlessly… and it’s time for us also! Three things were needed for Israel (and God’s people today), to overcome fearful stagnation: First, God’s people needed a new focus (Ex. 14:13). Let’s get our eyes off the Egyptian chariots and off the sea of obstacles before us. Just stand calm and watch the salvation of the Lord unfold; the Red Sea is parting! New paths will come into view. Colossians 3:1-3 defines our new focus. Next, God’s people need a renewed faith. It is by faith that God’s people crossed the Sea on dry land (Heb. 11:29). Whatever, our predicament, God is up to the fight and delivers His people even today. However, victories are only realized by living, active faith (Col. 2:12-13; James 2:17). As the Psalmist declares: “Some men trust in Chariots and in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 20:7).
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