The text doesn’t elaborate on the details of the event as it does in Exodus. The Israelites were led out of Goshen into the desert. It appeared to Pharaoh and the Egyptians that their former slaves were wandering in confusion and they came after them with the whole army and 600 of the best chariots. When the people with Moses saw the army in the distance they became fearful and started to complain. Their situation in the natural looked dire. They had the army closing in from one side and the sea on the other.
Exodus 14:15 says, “Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” With that He informed Moses to hold his staff over the sea and the Lord split the sea with an east wind that dried a path for the Israelites. When the Lord is moving you out in faith, the enemy will come after you. On one side of you is the impossible task and on the other side is the approaching enemy who wants to bring you back into captivity.
They were terrified. Yet the record as inspired by the Lord says that they passed through by faith. Fear to the extent of terror is not the opposite of faith. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. But fear can cause you to give up just short of the miracle. The tendency is to capitulate and go back to the way things were. The thought that where you were has any security is an illusion. The Israelites whined: “Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Verse 12) The temptation to go back will be flaunted in your face at times like this. The bondage was hard before they went out in faith. If you give up and go back, it will be worse. The Egyptians weren’t going after them to liberate them; they wanted to bring them back into slavery.
This is a reoccurring pattern when you step out in faith. God never intends for you to go back, only forward. He said to Moses and the people, “Why are you crying out to Me? Move forward.” Faith requires a forward move towards that which we desire. Our action may seem illogical in light of the situation but nevertheless it releases faith. How does holding a staff over the sea cause it to separate? It doesn’t in the natural but by faith it’s powerful.
Another part of the pattern is how terrible it seems just before the most amazing miracles happen. If the story is told without this important information, we can believe that our faith is disqualified when we feel afraid. In God’s eyes it is faith no matter how we feel as long as we keep going forward.
An excerpt from Faith: The Currency of Heaven available here
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