In Exodus 14, we read of the story of the Israelites with Moses. And maybe you should back up and begin in 13:17. They are about to be delivered across the Red Sea, but are told to camp in a place that is less than ideal, seemingly surrounded on all sides. The Israelites are terrified and they cry out to the Lord. They ask Moses why he brought them this far only to die.
And then we reach what I like to call a “Power Verse.” Verse 14 reads:
Unfortunately, this verse is used so many times out of context that its meaning is sometimes lost and it becomes cliché. Did you keep reading through verse 15? I did, and I got thoroughly confused.
The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to get moving!”
Okay, wait! Did I miss something? Shouldn’t there be a 14 1/2? We go from Moses talking with the people to God talking to Moses. What happened in between there? Now, I am not trying to add to Scripture or put things in that don’t belong. I’m trying to listen to what this passage has to say without seeing it in black and white.
So, here are four lessons we can learn from this verse that doesn’t exist:
1. Let your faith take action! What if , in verse 14 1/2, God was wondering why Moses was just standing there listening to the kerfuffle of the people? That’s kind of like the unemployed person who prays fervently for a job but never sends his resume to anyone. Dude! Tell your people to break camp! He knew that God had a plan to deliver them. Get moving!
2. Practice what you preach! Suppose God was reading the heart of Moses and found a bit of doubt and fear? Although Moses was reminding the Israelites that everything was going to be just fine, was there was a twinge of unbelief on his part? Remember the staff with which he struck the rock twice? He knew that God had a plan to deliver them. Get moving!
3. You know the play; stick with the plan! You know how, in those feel-good movies with a football team, there’s inevitably an important player that misses part of the big game, but then comes in to play and redeems the team just in the nick of time? I imagine there’s some confusion about the play calling, some doubt about the leadership, and some fear concerning the outcome. He knew that God had a plan to deliver them. Get moving!
4. Keep your eye on the prize! So, maybe in verse 14 1/2, Moses got a little distracted. It’s easy for anyone to get distracted even without some 600 chariots headed your way, a large body of water you can’t cross, and masses of people yelling at you and asking why you brought them here to die. We all get distracted from time to SQUIRREL! Are you paying attention now? Maybe Moses wasn’t. He knew that God had a plan to deliver them. Get moving!