Day 9: Exodus 14:13-31 – Crossing the Red Sea
This passage tells the epic story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, escaping their slavery in Egypt.
Before they crossed over, they found themselves in a place where they had a deadly army behind them and an impassable sea in front of them. Any onlooker would surely say they have reached the end of the road.
They had no weapons to fight the Egyptians, and no boats to cross the sea ahead of them, but what they did have was far more precious and powerful. They had the promise of God.
The promise captured in verses 13 and 14 is powerful:
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.
14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
In themselves, they were powerless, but because of God they were powerful!
As a keen problem solver, I think I’d have been doing everything in my power to make a boat, or fashion weapons, doing whatever I could to solve the problem. In fact, the thought of being still is still a difficult concept for me to get my head around. That said, this power they had from God to cross over, was not obtained through struggle or by striving. Indeed, the Lord himself was the one who was going to fight for them.
This is a power obtained by being still and having faith.
Right now in the UK, we are being asked to stay at home and give up the vast majority of our daily activities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. For most of us, this is a forced stillness that we aren’t used to. But the Bible teaches us that there are benefits to be found in stillness. Here are some:
- Stillness can bring clarity – In 1 Kings 19 Elijah was told to go and stand on the mountain, a place of isolation away from the daily noise. He stood and watched wind, fire and earthquake, and after God had fully got his attention he spoke to him in a still small voice. As we embrace stillness, let us turn our ear to God that we would hear the same still small voice today.
- Stillness can stop distraction – There is always something to do, somewhere to go. Remember the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) which teaches us that whilst both busyness and stillness have value, neither should be pursued exclusively. In a time when some daily distractions have been removed, let’s use this opportunity to dig deeper into our bibles and seek God afresh.
- Stillness establishes dependency – At a time like now, when staying at home is the most helpful thing we can to combat the coronavirus, let’s have faith in God rather than faith in our ability to fix things. Let’s place our dependence on the one who has the power to do the impossible and bring a resolution to this crisis.
In this season, stay plugged into your Connect group, keep streaming church online, access good podcasts, read blogs and exercise. But make sure you also take advantage of the stillness!
Campus Pastor, Bishop Auckland