The Israelites have just experienced a miraculous rescue. 600,000+ marched free, rescued from 430 yrs of Egyptian slavery, visibly led by God day and night. (Ex. 12:37, 40; 13:20-22)
Yet, when they saw their former slave drivers in rapid pursuit, their first response was that certainly they would have been better off left in slavery instead of the imminent death before them.
They witnessed God’s mighty hand that won them their freedom. Yet, the “appearance” of encroaching threat upon their lives yielded a hearty “we are done for!”
Let’s be real. They were very familiar with this approaching threat. They had witnessed first hand this life of slavery that now threatened them once again. Their enemy was many and mighty. When we pause long enough to consider the nature of the threat, sizing it up from a human standpoint, the odds seemingly stacked against them, despair appears to be a valid option. If the only two options were indeed slavery or wilderness corpses we too may have opted for the former.
But, that completely disregards the existing third option! The unsettling circumstances before their eyes had caused them to overlook the most important fact of all: God was not only with them but was on their side. They belonged to Him and “God would fight the battle for them.” (Ex. 14:14) And so they hear the words, “Don’t be afraid, stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today…and the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.” (Ex. 14:13, 16)
God, in Jesus, has won our battle. He has rescued us from our former lives enslaved to sin. He claims His rightful victory over sin and death, (1 Cor. 15:55-57) making a way for us to “walk through the sea on dry ground” and crossing over from death to life! (John 5:24)
When threats encroach from our former way of living (because they will), “don’t be afraid, stand firm in the One who has already won the battle for us!”
The LORD our God will be our “rear guard” (Is. 58:8)! He’s got our back. All we have to do is trust Him enough to follow Him. Then the song of Moses and the Israelites will become our song too:
“I’m singing my heart out to God – what a victory!
…God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have and I’m telling the world!
…I’m spreading the news far and wide!
God is a fighter,
Pure God, through and through…
Your strong right hand, God, shimmers with power;
your strong right hand shatters the enemy.
In your mighty majesty
You smash your upstart enemies,
…The enemy spoke,
‘I’ll pursue, I’ll hunt them down’…
You stretched out your right hand…
You redeemed your people,
You led in merciful love;
You guided them under your protection…
Sing to God – what a victory!” (Ex. 15:1-4, 6-7, 9, 11, 13, 21)
We have been set free to “listen obediently to how God tells us to live in his presence…” (Ex. 15:26)
We have a choice: In disbelief, we cry out for “enslavement instead of wilderness corpses” or we stand firm and exclaim, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Ro. 8:31; see also, Psalm 56:11, 118:6, Psalm 121 and Hebrews 13:6)
...And then we live our days in the reality of His victory! :)