Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1 KJV
If anyone should have had unwavering faith in God, it would’ve been the Israelites after they were freed from Egyptian captivity through a series of miraculous interventions from God. But once they set out on their journey, it didn’t take long for them to fear for their safety and began to doubt God. Instead of remembering the God that had saved them, they were wondering why Moses had led them out to die in the desert. Despite all of the ways that God had already shown his glory, they still allowed themselves to forget that he was completely in control. God had allowed them to end up exactly where they were so that he could once again remind them and the Egyptians that he alone is the Almighty God. They were in a place that they were sure would bring about their destruction, but God had other plans!
Initially everything was going great for them as they left their captivity in Egypt looking forward to freedom in a new land. If it was “all about them” – then things were going exactly as they should be. But it wasn’t all about them. God had much bigger plans that were ultimately far more victorious. I wonder if right off the bat they became confident in themselves as they saw their previous place of captivity fade in the distance. It seems as though they forgot that the Almighty God was traveling with them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night because as soon as things weren’t going like they planned, they began to complain. They actually wanted to go back into captivity without God rather than face a challenge with him. Hadn’t God already done enough to give them confidence in his deliverance? Moses had to remind them: “Do not be afraid…The Lord will fight for you.” (Exodus 14:14)
Before they ever reached the sea, God already had it all figured out. He knew that the Israelites were going to end up safely on the other side and that their enemies would be overtaken by it. The Israelites were his chosen people, and he would not allow anything to destroy them. God intended all along to gain glory through the Pharoah and his army. He intended to make it known that he was the Lord.
As I so often do when I read the living Word of God, I can clearly see an application for my own life. How often do I happily skip through life on my own when things are going the way I expect them to be and then get thrown into a panic when things seemingly go off track? How often do I sound like the Israelites did, complaining about how things are all messed up. Forgetting that my God is in control and that nothing surprises him. This is exactly when I need to gain proper perspective. Godly perspective. I’m a child of God and my life is about far more than the moment. My God-given purpose reaches far beyond today. Whether the “promised land” is clearly visible or seemingly impossible to reach because of sea-sized obstacles, God intends for me to get there – so I can have faith that I will!
Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”- Matthew 17:20 NIV
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23 NIV
He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 NIV