Scripture: Exodus 14:13-14
“And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Circumstances powerfully influence a person’s expectations, emotions, words and actions.
God’s people were camped against a sea and facing the sea. The back of their camp faced the land mass from which they had come. That location and orientation left them feeling trapped.
God’s people looked and saw hundreds of chariots and horses carrying armed warriors coming after them (Exodus 14:10). The size of the Egyptian army made them feel overwhelmed.
God’s people’s lack of common options to flee or fight further fueled their response. Visible circumstances and facts left them very afraid and expecting utter defeat.
As a result, God’s people cried out to Him and blamed Moses for their impending doom. They gave up in advance - essentially surrendering - because of “rational fear.” That response made sense to them.
Moses prophesied a new fact, consistent with God’s plan of delivering His people from Egypt: complete, utter deliverance by God. God intended to lead them toward the supposedly impassable sea (Exodus 14:15-16), in victory. So, Moses guided God’s people with three corrective instructions.
Since the people’s fear had begun to affect them, Moses told them to recover their self-control.
Since God’s people were considering surrender back into slavery, Moses told them to stand their ground as His free people - to be spiritually brave.
And, since God’s people had fixated on the spectacle of the approaching Egyptian army, Moses told them to redirect their attention to His power and work.
People respond to fear differently. Are my reactions to fear debilitating, distracting and troublesome or merely inconvenient? How does God want me to react? What is the purpose of fear?
How can the stories of the Bible provide me with alternative narratives to my projections based on circumstances? How can I make those stories more accessible to me when I need them?
When I face circumstances that signal certain disaster, how do I react? Where do my feelings and attention take me?
How can I prepare in advance to maintain self-control, practice spiritual bravery and focus intently on God’s plan and promises?
In what experiences do I experience seemingly-automatic fear; yet, the end of those experiences often turns out differently than I feared? What can I learn about myself from those situations? Where do I need to learn how to trust God more?
God delivers His people from fear and into faith.