OPINION

Pastoral Commentary: Stop running, God will fight for you

Steve Gill
Pratt Tribune
Steven Gill is the pastor at Turon Community Church in Kansas.

You know there are days when I feel like there’s no place I can turn to escape the pressures and attacks of this world.   I don’t know whether you feel that way or not but I bet you have or maybe you are there right now.     We all feel it from time to time.   It’s what they call “being between a rock and a hard place.”  I always heard that phrase as a kid and I didn’t get it, well I do now.  We all have been there but it’s what we do in that situation that really shows who we are and what we believe.     It’s not anything new, it’s been happening for thousands of years.  Today we are going to look at Exodus 14 starting with verse 5.    This passage takes place right after the Israelites had been freed from bondage and they were on their path to the promised land.   5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.  

So here we have the Rock and a Hard Place.  On one side is Pharaoh with his massive army and on the other side the Red Sea.    One side is death by the army and the other is certain death by drowning.  What would you choose?    Let’s read on.    10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.    Can you guess what they might have been saying?     Where are you God?    What have you done?    Are you just gonna let us die?    Do something God?   I would say they were in a complete and utter panic.   

    Isn’t it easy to hit the panic button when tragedies are looming?   This mob mentality that we are seeing today, took over and so they didn’t hear God's answer.   So not hearing God, they turned on God’s representative, Moses. “He's the one who led us out here”.     11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”    So now they're ready to go back to the very thing that they had been crying to be free from.    Slavery.  When things don’t go the way we think they should, we go on the offensive.  We try to put the blame on something or someone else.   First it was God and then it was Moses.            So Moses speaks to them...

13Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”       These words of Moses were not exactly what everyone was thinking but they were what they needed to hear.   They were words of faith, of strength in God and of promise.  Moses shared with them that God would raise them to victory despite what they were feeling.  When we’re between a rock and a hard place how easy is it to  hear the words that we want to hear?        I’m amazed that the mob could even hear Moses.  God was in this,  

When God is involved, anything is possible and the impossible is done.   The Sea parted and the army of Pharaoh was completely wiped out.  Like they never existed.      That my friends is deliverance by God’s Hands.        

Those same words Moses spoke to the Israelites ring true to us as well.     When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place.   Remember this: 

Do not be afraid.  Fear is one of Satan’s best weapons.   When we let fear in our lives, all logical thought ceases.   We are like a chicken  with our head chopped off, flip flopping around with no sense of direction.  

Stand Firm. We need to plant our feet solidly on the Rock of Jesus Christ and let God be our guide.   How can we ask God to work if we’re running around looking for answers in all different directions.    

The Lord will fight for you. Moses didn’t say the Lord will fight with you, he said the Lord will fight for you. Big difference.  

 Didn’t God just deliver the Israelites from slavery?   Did they really think that was just a fluke?    Where was their faith?   How can they forget so fast what God had just done?     Aren't we the same way?   How fast do we forget what God has done for us?      God will deliver us.    The Lord will fight for us.    What have we to fear?   So the next time you see the rock coming or the hard place approaching, stop running away, call to God and have peace knowing that your God will fight for you.