Stuck in a Birth Canal

Exodus 14:13-14 “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still’” (NIV).

Observation: The Hebrews were terrified. Rushed from Egypt after a series of devastating plagues, they were trapped against the Red Sea after Pharaoh’s change of heart. In turn, the Hebrews accused both Moses and the Lord of bringing them to temporary freedom in the desert only to now die there. At that, Moses made his statement of surpassing faith: “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.”

Application: Temporary, partial freedom. What a frustrating, horrible thought, like being stuck part way through the birth canal having once had a vision of full delivery. Moses was a man of great faith. He conveyed complete confidence in what God told him He was going to do. The Lord had instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to double back to camp nearer Egypt. Pharaoh would think they were wandering about in confusion, hemmed in by the desert. Then, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them” (see Exodus 14:1-4, NIV). Thus Moses’s confident encouragement to his Hebrew kinsmen sprang not from presumption, but from having heard God and from understanding divine strategy. It was He who ordered the Hebrews to appear confused and trapped. It was He who planned to harden Pharaoh’s heart once again, setting the Hebrews up for not just temporary freedom, but ultimate deliverance. God looked beyond a brief season of transition and crankiness to the result He had planned from the beginning. So must I. It was helpful that Moses heard God’s voice and obeyed; I am called to do no less.

God always has a strategy; He is never caught by surprise. What seems to me to be valleys of impenetrable darkness are to him simply passages to the light. Does He not promise to go before me and to serve as my rear guard? Does He not promise that His Word will light the darkest path? Hearing God is a conscious decision; every child of the King contains His Spirit, which is in constant, intimate contact with the Father. Not to listen is an option; having once heard, not to obey is yet another option, but these are poor choices, indeed. Strain if I must, but insist that I hear Him. Persistently press in. Knowledge of His strategy, once gained, will carry through the most impossible desert.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in life’s darkest moments, when I have been tempted to wail in despair and sink into depression, Your constant encouragement has brought me through. Thank You for divine strategy for my life, Lord. Increase my glimmers of understanding, for You are the Source of all encouragement.

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