When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." Exodus 13:17So God chose to lead them on the desert road to the Red Sea. He told Moses exactly where they should camp...
"Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon." Exodus 14:2...and His reason for leading them there.
"Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." Exodus 14:3-4God strategically placed them in this vulnerable position where they would not be able to go back to Egypt, where they would not be able to run, where they would not be able to do anything. Then God caused Pharaoh's heart to be hard so that he would go after the Israelites. The Israelites were terrified. I can imagine they were in a bit of a panic as Pharaoh's army advanced toward them. They called out to God to save them and they had questions.
- Why did you bring us out here?
- Did you rescue us to have us die in the desert?
- Why didn't you leave us where we were?
Moses instructed the people to do three things because God was going to fight for them and gain glory for Himself.
- Do not be afraid.
- Stand firm.
- Be still.
The Israelites were still terrified, and if they had not been pinned in, it's not likely they would have been still. But God was in all of the details. He had a plan and a purpose from the start of their journey and He would see it through to the end. You know what happened. God performed a miracle to save the Israelites.
Are you at the water's edge?
God didn't tell the Israelites to come up with plans and strategies for their situation. Yes, God gave us the ability to think through our situations and search for logical solutions to our problems, and most often that is where we can find Him working in our lives as we trust Him to orchestrate our circumstances. But sometimes He wants to defy logic. Sometimes He hems us in and says
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today... The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:13-14
"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou