After God unleashed the tenth plague (death of the firstborn) throughout Egypt, Pharaoh finally let the Israelites out of their bonds of slavery and they left Egypt. God led His people into the wilderness towards the Red Sea as a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. Pharaoh hardened his heart towards the Israelites once more, assembled his army, and pursued God’s people. Pharaoh and his army quickly overtook the Israelites and surrounded them at the edge of the Red Sea.
The Israelites saw the Egyptian army and had great fear that they would now be destroyed. They doubted God’s greatness, despite bearing witness to ten incredible plagues, being set free from slavery, and being led day and night by God Himself. The Israelites cried out to Moses that it would’ve been better to remain bound as slaves than to die free in the wilderness.
Just like the Israelites of Moses’ day, we too cast shadows of doubt on God’s greatness and mercy. We put limits on Him. We show little to no faith that God’s Hands encompass us every moment of every day. Much like the Israelites were distracted and doubted Him because of the vast Egyptian army preparing to destroy them, we constantly doubt Him through the distractions of fearful things like war, natural disasters, pestilence, civil unrest, and so on. FEAR NOT! The Lord is in control and His plan will be done. All we must do is be still and believe in Him.
“Moses 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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’” (Exodus 14:13–14).
The Lord put a cloud of darkness between His people and the Egyptians to keep them separated. He commanded Moses to lift his staff out over the Red Sea and then divided it. The Israelites crossed the sea on dry ground with a wall of water on each side of them. Pharaoh sent his army into the dry sea after them. As the Egyptian army neared the Israelites, God sent His pillar of smoke and fire to surround the Egyptians, befuddling them. After the Israelites were safely across, the Lord made the waters of the Red Sea return back to normal, drowning all of Pharaoh’s army.
“That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.” (Exodus 14:30–31).
Be still, trust in the Lord, and have no fear! God fights for His chosen people. As Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).