READING Exodus 14
Providentially, my posting of this devotion falls during the COVID-19 pandemic when pastors are leading their people through a time of anxiety and fear. I pray Moses’ example may encourage you.
Moses led the people of Israel through a crisis. “The Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly” (v. 10).
The people vented their anxiety by blaming Moses for their circumstances. He addressed their fear by focusing them on God. Moses spoke profound words to them, turning their focus from himself and from the Egyptian army to the One who would deliver them. “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (vv. 13-14).
Moses’ exhortations to the people are a good model for ourselves and for the people we shepherd:
Don’t be afraid. This was a reassurance God often gave people when about to move forward in following His commands and receiving the fulfillment of His promises. See Gen 15:1; 26:24; Joshua 1:9; 8:1. We can confidently guide people we minister to with the very same words.
Stand still. Hold your position. Don’t let fearful circumstances move you from where you stand. “Sometimes the people of God are told to take their stand, passively and quietly awaiting the mighty deliverance of the Lord” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, electronic ed., p. 394). We can encourage our people to remain confident and hold their position in grace during trying times (Romans 5:1-5).
See the salvation of the Lord. Watch God work! He is the source of victory. He will receive the glory. Our deliverance may not be circumstantial, but it will be eternal.
Help me not to fear present circumstances or future possibilities and what may happen to us. We are moving forward by your leading. You have promised to take care of us. Help me to encourage my people to hold our position in you and to watch you work.
I direct my anxiety, my expectations, and my trust to you. Help me encourage others to do the same.