Years ago I spent some time living at my Grandparents home and I remember a sign that my grandma had up in her bathroom, which greeted everyone in the house each morning.It said:“Good morning, this is God, and I will be handling all of your problems today.Remember I will not need your help.Have a blessed day”.Years later this innocuous little sign is in a prominent place in my memory.That little sign reminds me of my wife’s favorite verse in scripture found in Exodus 14: 14 which says “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be silent”.Depending on which version of the bible you read it renders a little different as some versions say “you need only to be still”.
I want to take a minute to look at the context of this verse from Exodus 14:14.Here is the situation:Moses is in the process of leading the people Israel out of the slavery and tyranny of the Egyptians and on the way it appears that the journey has hit a major roadblock.Moses leads them to the edge of the Red Sea and Pharoah (the king of Egypt) has his army of chariots pursuing them.
How does one get across the Red Sea?They had no boats; there was no Ferry service to get them across.It simply looked hopeless.Like many of us, the Israelites began to panic and looked for the simplest way to survive the ordeal.Fight and die… or surrender and become slaves again.One of the most curious things about this ancient people was their ability to complain at God and give up even though they were shown again and again the miraculous things that their God could do.Like they usually did they began to complain saying “Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”Essentially they were giving up and voting for the survival option.But survival is not living.Living is thriving.Remember that movie Dead Poet’s society?Remember when Neil said “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”That is what thriving is about.It’s about really living.It’s about not allowing life to put us into the “survive or die” mentality.
Back to the ancient Israelites.They saw only two options: die quick and live no longer, or die slow but survive and live as slaves… not really living.This is why Moses said to the people “The Lord will fight for you.You need only to be still” or “you need only to be silent”.Often we have a plan for how we will overcome adversity (these often fail) and we don’t realize that God has another option: live and to thrive.In this story God’s plan was huge and his miracle bigger than anything the people had yet seen.Moses lifted up his staff and held his hands out over the water and the sea was divided and the people walked across dry land.We might call this “Plan B” and we may even think it is the secondary plan.However God’s plan and his way of getting us through any situation is real McCoy, the real “Plan A”.His goal is for us to really live and to thrive even in the darkest hours of our lives.Being still or silent; let’s face it we suck at these.So we struggle and control and manipulate situations in hopes that we will get through.Survival, what an interesting concept?Why is it that we are ok with just surviving?We struggle and fight and do things in our power and the result is that we just survive.We just “scrape through by the skin of our teeth” always “flying by the seat of our pants”.Should the miracle be that we survived or that we actually thrived because of what God did? The Lord will fight for you!Yes you!He really does have your best interests at heart.Sometimes that cliché “Let go and Let God” is actually really annoying, but not because of overuse; rather it’s because we don’t want to believe that God really will help us to get through and live and thrive and truly overcome.As for me and my house, we are choosing to live and thrive and trust God to carry us through the troubles of life.
BTW. The ancient Israelites- they walked through the Red Sea on dry land.When Pharoah tried to follow, God brought the sea down upon them drowning them in one fell swoop and the Israelites were not pursued by them again.
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