Devotional

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10.

Ever feel trapped?  Like you can’t turn in one direction because it will be worse than where you are now. In fact, nor matter which way you turn, there is no escape. Time to reach for the panic button.

The Israelites often found themselves trapped in biblical times. Take the story of Moses and the people of Israel after being slaves in Egypt for 430 years (Exodus 12:40). We all know the story of Moses, the plagues and the hard heart of Pharaoh. It most have been a happy time when the Israelites left Egypt and captivity.  But that happiness was short lived, because soon after they left, Pharaoh’s army started chasing them with chariots and foot soldiers. They couldn’t go back and they couldn’t go forward unless they walked into the Red Sea. They seemed trapped and they started to panic.  “As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness’” (Exodus 14:10-12)

These people who had just witnessed all the mighty plagues (blood, frogs, locust, darkness, etc) now reverted to normal human reactions of panic, complaining and fear. Couple that with the passage of scripture from Deuteronomy 4:32-34: “Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the earth until now, and search from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before? Has any nation ever heard the voice of God speaking from fire—as you did—and survived? Has any other god dared to take a nation for himself out of another nation by means of trials, miraculous signs, wonders, war, a strong hand, a powerful arm, and terrifying acts? Yet that is what the Lord your God did for you in Egypt, right before your eyes.”

Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, we need to examine our own lives. We are no strangers to panic. I wonder if God sometimes looks down on us navigating through life, getting worked up into a full blown panic over minor things and shakes His head. God is faithful. So no matter what happens or the seemingly impossible things you are asked to do, He is always there. He is right there in the middle of your crazy life, He is walking ahead of you, miraculously present there in your need, leading and guiding you.

Imagine if you only took a step after you were sure God had stepped out ahead of you? What if you really believed that nothing is impossible with God and you need to trust Him.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes you panic? Why?
  2. How would life be different if you didn’t take a step until God had stepped ahead of you?