April 11, the Twenty-Ninth Day of Lent
April 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.
The author of Hebrews continues to recount the story of the Exodus. However,the focus has shifted from the actions of Moses to the actions of the people of Israel. This specific event, found in Exodus 14.13-31, is the climax of the Exodus; after this, the people of Israel are free from the tyranny and oppression of Egypt.
If we go back and read the Exodus account of this tale, we find something interesting; even though the author of Hebrews has minimized Moses’ role in this event, Moses played a crucial role. As the intermediary between God and Israel, Moses received God’s commands regarding the people. In this case, Moses is leading all of the people of Israel out of Egypt when they encounter an obstacle: the Red Sea. To make matters worse, Pharaoh has sent his chariots after the Israelites in order to capture them. The people of Israel cannot move forward and they cannot go back.
At this time, God speaks to Moses and commands him to stretch his arm out over the sea; Moses did so, and the waters parted. This was an action of faith on the part of Moses; seas do not normally split down the middle when people reach out their hands over the water. However, Moses responded to God’s command in faith and the waters parted.
Imagine that you are one of the Israelites. You’ve just spent the night on the shores of the sea, with the Egyptian army camped close by waiting for daylight. You are hemmed in and tomorrow only brings the promise of defeat. It was an unusually windy night; yet, when you woke up in the morning, you see that the sea has parted; Moses, your leader, beckons you to walk through the sea. What choice do you have, with the armies of Pharaoh so close? Still, your heart is pounding and your stomach is in your throat as you cross the seabed. At some point on the walk, you realize that Moses’ faith and God’s power are the only things keeping the waters from crashing down on you. Saying a quick prayer of gratitude, you quicken your pace.
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to rely completely on the faith of another? When you had no ability to believe? Sometimes, we find that God places people in our lives during these moments to believe for us when we cannot. These people encourage us and support us when we desire to follow Christ, but simply have no “gas left in the tank.” Perhaps someone has played the role of Moses for you; a spouse, a friend, maybe a pastor. Today, think of these people in your life and remember how God used them.
As we journey through Lent together, may we be thankful for those who carried us when we could not crawl.
“Dear Lord, thank you for the people that you have placed in my life to accomplish your will. Thank you for the people who have lifted me up, prayed for me, and acted in faith for me when I could not. Please help me never to take these people for granted. I ask for grace to believe when the situation appears to be impossible. When I encounter a fellow Christian struggling, please enable me to lift them up as others have done for me. Amen.”