Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cry Out and Be Silent

As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Exodus 14:10-14 (NASB)

A person's first response often isn't their best. When we get surprised with bad news or feel attacked it's easy to lash out in anger by blaming others. This is why pausing before we respond to the situation at hand can be so helpful. It gives us the chance to talk ourselves off the ledge before we dive headfirst into the rant we really want to deliver. 

But sometimes a problem comes at us so fast that pausing doesn't seem like an option. I can only imagine that is how the people of Israel felt. God has just miraculously delivered them from 400 years in slavery. They leave Egypt and head off into the dessert, but before long they turn to see the Egyptian army bearing down on them. With their backs against the Red Sea, there is nowhere for them to run. 

But the children of Israel are learning because their first response was actually good. Instinctually, they cry out to the Lord for help. It's their second response that needs work. They blame Moses and give full vent to their anger which is obviously rooted in their lack of faith.

Moses' answer to the people is instructive and beautiful. God will fight for His people! Now it's worth noting that this is the biblical understanding of "holy war." Some in the Muslim world say that jihad or holy war consists of people fighting on God's behalf. That's not the Christian understanding. Throughout the Bible, we find God fighting for His people. He is a mighty warrior who comes to our rescue. He works mighty miracles to deliver us from the enemy. 

While it is true that He sometimes calls us to action (David did sling the stone that killed Goliath), often our role is to keep silent. As Moses says, "The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent." God fights the enemy. God fixes the problem. Our job is to keep silent. Cry out to the Lord for help, Christian, then keep silent. Wait and see what He will do.

I don't know what problems you're facing today, but I know that they're no match for God. I can't promise you that He will fix them all right away, but I can guarantee you that you can't fix them without His help. So cry out to God today. Then wait! Keep silent and see what He will do.  

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