Quickly Their Joy Turned to Fear

My bible reading is taking me through Exodus and I was reminded of a post from a couple of years ago (from Exodus 14):

Perhaps you’re familiar with this story. The Israelites have long awaited deliverance from the hands of the Egyptians. God had mercifully saved Israel many years before through Joseph, but times had changed and years had passed and the Israelites were slaves to Pharaoh. God raised up Moses and Aaron to lead the people out and at last, after many plagues and hardships brought upon Egypt, Pharaoh has allowed the people to leave. Can you imagine the excitement and joy they felt? They were to be a free people, never to work under a slave-master’s control again. Here they were, camped by the sea with their first taste of freedom when word arrives that Pharaoh has changed his mind. He was coming, and coming with force. Verse 11: “They said to Moses, ‘Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?’”

Quickly their joy turned to fear. We are not immune to such behavior. How many times have we petitioned God for deliverance or freedom from something over and over only to get silence for so long, but finally God speaks and you think that your deliverance is soon. With excitement in your heart you look over the horizon to see… your worst nightmare.

Perhaps you’re familiar with “Murphy’s Law” (my name is Murphy, so I’m quite familiar with the statement) – Whatever CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. It seems that the Israelites defaulted to such a code. Their immediate response to the report of Pharaoh’s approach was that of fear and defeat, yet it was by that very method that God was going to miraculously deliver His people and forever rid them of the fear of Pharaoh and his army.

Why, in the face of seeming defeat, do we choose to blame God instead of trust Him? Does he not tell us in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “trust him” with a promise that “He will direct our paths”? Does God not tell us in Romans 8:28 that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose?

It’s reasonable to ask, if our response is the same as the Israelites, in whom are we trusting: God? our leader? ourselves?

Trust in God, for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin – Romans 14:23.

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