Panicking by the Red Sea

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

Once again, I love how The Message states this verse, “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!” The people of Israel are standing beside the Red Sea watching the Egyptians approaching on speeding chariots. They are complaining to Moses (the first of many times) that God has abandoned them and they were better off staying with the Pharaoh. Moses is probably wondering what he got himself into.

There are probably children crying, women screaming and men doing whatever it is that they do when they are scared stiff but do not want to admit it. Chaos in the extreme! And God says to Moses, “What are you yelling at me for? Don’t just stand there, perform a miracle!” (“Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.“ Verse fifteen, The Message)

I am ashamed to admit how often I act like the Israelites or like Moses, jumping up and down trying to get God’s attention, demanding that the Divine do something. And all the while God is at working making a smooth place for me to walk across my troubles. I can get myself into more trouble by opening up my big mouth than if I had just kept quiet.

There is an old adage that says a wise man may be thought a fool, but only a foolish man will open up his mouth to give the proof. You and I may never know how many times we have missteps we have made simply because we could not be patient and wait on God. May you gentle reader gain wisdom, peace, and shalom through keeping quiet and waiting on the Divine. Selah!

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