With a range of impassable, craggy rocks on one side, the forts and garrisons of Migdol on the other, and with the sea before them and the enraged Egyptians behind, the Israelites cried out in fear. And is it any wonder? Are we not afraid when we are pressed from every side, when armies besiege us, and when evil men threaten to devour us? It is quite understandable that the Israelites were afraid, and their initial response to call out to God was admirable, for hard times should send us to our knees. Such times should remind us of our dependence on God, not cause us to doubt Him.
Sadly, the latter is what happened to the Hebrews. They took their eyes off the Lord, looked at their “hopeless” situation, became overwhelmed by their fear, cried out to God, then murmured against Him: “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?… For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” Is there any sadder example of a crippled faith? They would rather enjoy the security of their bondage than die in the freedom of God. They would rather have their sin than suffer as God’s children. What a faithless people! How unlike their leader, who was willing to suffer with his countrymen rather than enjoy sin for a moment in Egypt.
This doubt was inexcusable in light of the great manifestations of God’s power displayed in releasing them from bondage. Is God’s arm too short that He cannot deliver you from bondage to sin, He is able and willing to deliver you from subsequent struggles with temptation, trail, and affliction. God has promised to preserve His people, to save a remnant for Himself, and to deliver us from the hands of our enemies. This does not mean that the struggles will be without pain or fear, but it does mean that we can trust Him to deliver us, for He is our “Warrior King.” All we must do is “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish.” It is not by our strength that we will win the battle, for if it were we would have every reason to doubt; but it is by the strength of our Almighty God. We must trust Him in times of struggle, and not murmur against Him as the Israelites did. God will fight for us, and He alone will secure our peace.
Read aloud verse 13–14. In what kinds of difficulties are you most afraid? Why should you not beafraid during difficult times? What has God promised His people? How do you depend on your ownability instead of God’s promises and power? Memorize these two verses. Repeat them often toyourself when you are afraid.