This is the backdrop to Red Sea moments. Israel was hemmed in by the desert and had been overtaken by the enemy, who was on their doorstep. They were terrified and they cried out to the Lord. Are you in a Red Sea moment? Cry out to the Lord!
3 ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’
9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.
It is interesting that we don’t see the Lord in these verses – God is who they cry out to, yet when we isolate vs. 3, 9, and 10, he isn’t there. That’s what it can feel like in these moments, isn’t it? We can feel alone and abandoned. The truth is, however, that God is not far even though it feels like he is. They were in his hand…
God was leading Israel. They were following his path for them out of Egypt. God was the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day in front of them. And still they found themselves hemmed in. Isn’t that life? We follow God, yet we still find ourselves hemmed in from time to time. Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a terrible storm in Mark 6 – hemmed in by the wind and waves and God very close by:
47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed…
Jesus was about to pass them by in the midst of their storm. He knew all about it. He could see their struggling and straining and he was about to pass by. God is okay with his people getting into Red Sea moments. In fact, he allows them and even causes them. That’s reality.
God’s presence in our lives does not take away the likelihood or severity of Red Sea moments. In fact, some might say the chances are greater.
The outcome of the Red Sea crossing was glory to God and great faith among his people. The outcome of the storm in Mark 6 was glory to God and amazement among his people.
Do you see a pattern here?
If I am to be a witness to my friends of the greatness of God and of his salvation and rescue, I need first hand knowledge of Red Sea moments.
Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble, yet he said, ‘take heart’ – ‘find courage’ – ‘don’t worry’ – because I have overcome the world.
What have your Red Sea moments been? What’s your story of God’s rescue? When have you experienced God in this way? And are you in a Red Sea moment even now? Are you hemmed in by a desert or a wilderness?
Know that God is right there. He is not far. Cry out to him. He is the one who has power to calm the wind and the waves or part the sea to create a way out for you.