Many times throughout the Old Testament we are told to not be afraid. God knows the way fear can play on our emotions. He understands the powerful impact it can have.
One of the first times we hear God’s declaration to not be afraid is when the Israelites, after being in slavery for 430 years, are finally set free from the oppression of the Egyptians.
After God sends 10 plagues on the Egyptians, Pharaoh finally agrees to let the Israelites go. They have been given a death blow; all of their firstborns lose their lives. It is too much and now he can’t get them out of his sight quick enough.
The Israelites are celebrating as they finally break away from the chains of bondage and slavery. Life is looking good. But then…
Pharaoh changes his mind. What was he thinking, letting the people go? He decides to go after them and at the first sight of the Egyptians, panic sets in for the Israelites.
Think about how life can do this. We are sailing along, feeling pretty good about how things are going. But then we see something coming against us and our first instinct isn’t faith, it isn’t trust in God but it is a declaration that we would be better off back in the land of slavery.
What land of slavery have you come from? What has God delivered you out of? What have you been set free from? At the first sign of trouble, do you really want to go back?
For whatever reason the Israelites suddenly thought that they would have been better off as slaves. But Moses says, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do His work of salvation for you today…” (Exodus 14:13, Message). He also goes on to say, “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!” (Exodus 14:14, Message).
Sometimes all we need to do is stand firm, watch God take care of the problem, allow Him to fight the battle and then we just need to keep our mouths shut.
Photo by el7bara in Flickr