True Heroes Give God the Credit.
Though finally released from slavery, the two million Israelites led by Moses were not carefree travelers as they began their journey to the Promised Land. The most direct route to Canaan was pitted with danger, and God knew it would shake the Israelites’ faith if they confronted the warlike Philistines right at the onset. God detoured the Israelites, turning them back toward Egypt so Pharaoh would assume they were wandering aimlessly and would follow in pursuit. It was a perfect plan to lure Pharaoh’s army just where God wanted them to go.
God sent a pillar of cloud to guide the Hebrews by day and a pillar of fire to guide them by night along their journey. Though the pillars may have frightened the people at first, they must’ve been an awesome spectacle! They became symbols of God’s presence that must’ve been extremely reassuring to the newly freed slaves traveling in unknown territory.
Remember, the Israelites were slaves of the Egyptians only days prior to this event. They’d been whipped by slave drivers during captivity, and they were familiar with the superior weapons Egyptians carried. They must’ve realized that their fighting skills were nothing compared to those of Pharaoh’s army and they couldn’t compete with horse-drawn chariots. Not only that, they were backed against the sea, with mountains on two sides, as the Egyptians bore down on them. The Israelites blamed Moses for their hopeless dilemma.
Moses raised his staff over the Red Sea and God parted the waters. While we don’t know all the details, the Bible tells us that God moved the seawater away so the Israelites could cross and then collapsed the wall of water upon the pursuing Egyptian army. However this miraculous feat was accomplished, it was yet another example of God responding to the needs of His people.
Though God protected the Israelites countless times during their exodus, they still struggled with faith. It literally took the dividing of a sea for Israel to believe that God would remain true to His word. Sound familiar? Sometimes we put Jesus through the same kind of test, but having a relationship with Him actually gives us the luxury of surrender. Jesus wants to carry our burdens, and He is far more capable than we are. We can live out our faith by trusting Him to do mighty things in our lives – and then by giving Him the glory when He does.
Today’s culture promotes self-reliance, self-congratulation. What areas of life are hard to turn over to God? Pray that you experience God’s faithfulness as you fully entrust your life to Him.