By Adam Griffin
The Israelites were rescued from the Egyptians in a marvelous and miraculous fashion. The means and scope of the incident are too grand to wrap our minds around. There were so many people fleeing such a large and powerful army across a great distance with huge walls of water protecting some and then crashing down on others. Incredible!
But before Israel was rescued and before they sang songs about how great God’s rescue was, first they were afraid, first they complained, and first they doubted. Exodus 14:11–13 tells us that they feared greatly and they tell Moses they would have rather been left alone than follow God and Moses into the wilderness.
This should be the easiest part of the story for us to relate to. Everyone has had a moment where they felt overwhelmed by the tasks they were facing or the opposition they were enduring. All of us have felt afraid and anxious. All of us have had regrets about choices that led us into difficulty. And if we are being honest, all of us have had doubts about whether or not we wanted to do what God says we should do. Following God is not always fun, but God can always be trusted.
Moses replies to their grumbling by telling them not to fear and to stand firm. Those are bold words of confidence. Moses had faith. He knew God was about to rescue them from Egypt. He says to them in verse 14 “The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet” (Exodus 14:14). What a beautiful invitation to trust God in their difficult circumstances.
Exodus 14 is not a promise that God will always miraculously rescue His faithful from every difficult circumstance they face right now, but it is a reminder of what our God is truly capable of. The God we follow can be trusted. He loves His people. He fights on behalf of His people. Who else should we trust? Who else can we trust? This God can and does rescue.
For us, our hope of rescue from our greatest problem has already been assured. Our faith and standing firm in Christ is faith in a battle that has already taken place. The victory over sin and death has already been won. There is no reason for us to wonder if God will fight for us, because He already did and He already won. While we may suffer in this life as a result of sin, the ultimate penalty for sin has already been paid.
Paul reminds us in Romans 6 that the victory over sin should not motivate us then to live our lives without regard to sin and rebellion, but rather, we walk in obedience to God knowing that in grace, we have been given the freedom to live a life in submission to our warrior God who has defeated our greatest enemy for us. Praise be His name! We have nothing to fear for He has fought for us and won! As the Israelites are no longer slaves to Egypt, we are no longer slaves to sin. We are something new.