And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14 KJV
One of the things I love most about my Bible, is that it is full of stories of people just as vulnerable, and fearful, as I have sometimes been.
People who have known what it is to face desperation with only one place to look for help–God Himself.
Whether it was Abraham on Moriah, Joseph in Egypt, Naomi and Ruth in Moab, David hiding in a cave, Jehoshaphat caught between advancing armies, or our hero Moses standing at the impossible, and impassable, Red Sea.
I can take my cues from any one of these stories.
I can read them over, and over, again. And, I can draw fresh strength and courage from their desperate hours, while I also wait for God, to deliver me in my desperate moments.
The LORD shall fight for you
I never get tired of reading those words!
When I am facing a situation where there seems to be no way out?
I remind myself once again, “I am not fortune’s fool.” as Shakespeare once said. I am a blood-bought, redeemed child of The Most High God!
Like Moses, (or any of the others I’ve mentioned) I may not yet SEE a way?
But I know my Father is watching over me.
He will make a way.
Desperation’s Dance Steps
When you can’t see a way out and you don’t know what to do?
God gives clear instructions:
- Fear not.
- Stand still, and see.
Backed into a corner, God gives His children simple directions.
Not easy, simple.
It is not easy when armies are advancing on you, or powerful people have falsely accused you, or you are penniless, and looking starvation full in the face, to “stand still.”
When your situation is so desperate, panic is rising in your throat, and help seems to be nowhere in sight? No, “Fear not.” is not easy and can even sound ridiculous.
Yet, God knows
Yes, He knows, when our situation is desperate.
He sees ALL of our enemies; He knows their plans.
And, He knows how ridiculous it looks to stand still, and seemingly do nothing but wait for Him.
I suppose faith and trust do “look” ridiculous sometimes–yet, it is absolutely right.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.psalm 62:5-8 NLT
Perhaps this Scripture is precisely why Charles Spurgeon wrote the following encouragement.
(May it encourage your heart this week, as it did mine.)
Stand Still and See
Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exod. 14:13).
These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut upon the right hand and on the left. What is he now to do?
The Master’s word to him is “stand still.” It will be well for him if, at such times, he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.
Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part; it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.”
But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it, if you are a child of God. His Divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What if for a while thou art called to stand still; yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time.
Precipitancy cries, “Do something; stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once–we must do it, so we think–instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something, but will do everything.
Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it, and expect a miracle.” But faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands.
“Stand still”–keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.’