One of my favorite stories in the Bible tells about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea under God’s mighty hand. The story begins with the famine in Canaan that caused Jacob to send his son Joseph to Egypt to buy food. On the way Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery. Little did those brothers know the misery that would happen to them.
Joseph eventually wins the favor of Pharaoh and is put in charge of the land.
The brothers finally meet Joseph and the brothers realize what they have done. Yet Joseph forgives them. I love Joseph’s classic statement: “You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done.” (Genesis 50:20 NCV).
What started with about 70 of God’s people going to Egypt to escape the famine resulted in more than 600,000 people crossing the Red Sea 400 years later to escape the Egyptian slavery. The Israelites looked over their shoulders and shook with terror when they saw Pharaoh and his many chariots chasing them. I cherish what Moses said about our God: “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’” (Exodus 14:13-14).
Many more beautiful stories in the Bible tell of God’s faithfulness. In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, you will find a common thread of God’s love and deliverance.
So how does this apply to us today? Do you ever look over your shoulder and see enemies pursuing you? Being occupied with worrisome problems causes physical ailments and sleepless nights. These times can be just as fearful to you as they were to the Israelites. Let Moses’ words echo in your mind: But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. The Egyptians you are looking at you will never see them again. The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger!” (TLB)
Your faith is in the Lord. You do what you can, leave the rest to him. Stand when the doctor’s report is not good. Stand when the nightly news has nothing but bad reports. Stand when everything looks the worst possible because we have a God who makes the best out of impossible situations.
Stand unshakeable and unmovable with mountain moving faith. Striving, fretting and getting panicky is futile. I have read that 95 percent of fearful things never happen.
What a shame to punish ourselves. What a terrible way to live.
The apostle Paul points the way to a joyous living: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).
You have only to stand still.
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: