“But Moses told the people, Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” – Exodus 14:13-14
As a disciple (learner) I love reading the Word of God. As a prior student of theology I love learning about God (theology) and as a Pastor I am charged with the task of defending the Word of God. Being able to articulate what the Word is saying and what it is not saying is rooted in an understanding of context. Without context, we are capable of manipulating the Word to our hearts content.
The above Scripture is proof of the classic manipulation.
This might destroy your theology but hear this…God isn’t always going to fight for you!
Look at Exodus 14:13-14 and then look at what I just wrote. On the surface level, they are polar opposite statements. Most would side with the Scripture. And those who would side with Scripture would be dead wrong. Dead. Wrong.
Israel has been led by Moses out into the wilderness. The Egyptians are now chasing them. The Egyptians have an army and horses. Israel are not warriors, have a ton of goods which were given to them, women and children and elderly. It’s not to difficult to see how this battle would turn out.
Check Mate-Egyptians win!
When God is in the picture, everything changes and I mean everything. God called Israel to cross the Red Sea. Here’s the lingering problem with that though; the Red Sea doesn’t part until Israel begins crossing. Thus all they see is a Sea before them and no way of getting across.
So here comes the motivational speaker Moses with this line. “God will rescue you. God will fight for you. Be still. Stay calm.” Such a great motivational speech they all need to hear, right? God wasn’t impressed with it though.
Need proof. Okay. Here you go…
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”
Here’s the deal. Did God rescue the people? He sure did! Did God fight for them? Sure did. But God was informing Moses and the people of Israel that they had to do something; to get moving so they could live out the victory God has already established.
One of my favorite lines in a song is from a rock band, Petra and the line is this. “Waters never part until our feet get wet.”
I think the issue we have caused for ourselves is the idea that we have NOTHING to do but be still and remain calm. That simply isn’t true. God calls us and God gives us the victory. Then it is up to us but it’s not about us.
When you have time read through the Exodus account. It’s pretty cool the way God calls to Moses and says…
“I have seen the suffering Israel has endured.”
“I have heard their cries.”
“I have come down to rescue them.”
“Now Moses, Go and lead my people.”
Check that out. Pretty cool stuff there. God hears the sufferings of his people. God’s love compels him to act. God calls Moses. God informs Moses the work of God will be done. There’s a whole lot of God doing stuff in this story. But then, out of the blue-Moses is told to go.
Why should he? Why can’t Moses just say, “I’m just going to be still and stay calm. Go ahead and fight for the people!” God is fighting for the people of Israel through MOSES! It’s not about Moses, it’s about God! And while God fought for the people and led them, he allowed Moses to be his servant.
The truth spills out into the Red Sea. What if Israel listened to Moses and just stood there? What if they loosened up, stayed calm and chilled out? They would have a radically different story to share. The people were not to “be still.” (Moses’ command) The people were to “get moving.” (God’s command)
God calls us to accomplish things and places us in situations we cannot possibly handle. Moses could not lead the people of Israel out. God could. Moses could not stand up to the Pharaoh and convince him to let the people go. God could.
You see, the issue that arises from this verse(s) like this is that it creates a philosophy that isn’t aligned with God’s truth. Exodus 14:13-14 by itself would indicate that 1) God is going to fight for us and 2) We just need to be still.
The opposite was true in this situation! God already had fought for them-he already led them out of Egypt. He already told Moses to lead the people across the Red Sea. But, if we get stuck on Exodus 14:13-14 then we live our lives believing that God is going to fight for us and rescue us when God is actually calling us to live out and enforce the victory.
The people of Israel were not called to be still and wait for God to carry them over the Red Sea; they were called to pick up their feet and walk across the Red Sea but they had to get moving! The point of this story is that it revealed God’s power.
What are you doing to accomplish the task God has called you to do?
realigned theology| written by mike monica