The children of Israel were finally free after generations of slavery. They were released and began walking towards the land God had promised them. Following His pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, they marched towards hope. And then came the Red Sea; expansive, impassable. To make matters worse, murderous Egyptians were now approaching them from the rear, forcing them to the edge of the sea! With nowhere to hide, they started to panic. They shouted in fear to the God who had liberated them and was actively leading them with miraculous signs.“WHAT HAVE WE DONE?! Have you brought us here to die?! God are you there?” They questioned Him even as His supernatural fire and cloud hung in the sky above them.
“And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? -Exodus 14:10-11
I love Moses’ response.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show 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
I love God’s response.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Exodus 14:15
At the impassable obstacle, God says “go forward”. In Hebrew, the word “forward” comes from the word “naca”. It means: “to pull up, especially the tent pins, start on a journey: to march, to be on your way.” God says, “Why are you crying? Go forward! Pull up your tent stakes, march, get ready! Do not make your camp here. You will pass through the impossible.” He told them to move the edge before the sea was parted, so they did. They stood before the giant body of water, tent stakes in hand, with screaming warriors at their back, waiting for God to do what only He can do. Moses told them that the Lord would fight for them, and He did.
How often I feel like God leads me somewhere, I follow confidently, and then hit a wall. A fear. A knee-knocking passageway. “Why lead me here only to be stopped?” Does God lead to dead ends? Does God prod me towards the impassable obstacle? Perhaps. But God makes a way. He doesn’t leave us there. Perhaps He leads to the impassable so we can see what is possible with Him. Where God leads, He prepares a passage. He takes the impassable, and makes it possible.
“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
Fast forward to another generation, Joshua was leading the 12 tribes of Israel towards a promised victory in Jericho. A new home. God says you just need to “go get it”. They follow Him, until the Jordan River. Their 40,000 strong stopped by the overflowing, swelling, racing river. Impassable again. Or was it?
“And as they that bare the ark had come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon a heap…
And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” -Joshua 3:14-17
Near Jericho, they stepped up to the brim and God did the rest.
Near the Red Sea, they moved forward and God took action.
Before the victory came the miracle. Before the miracle came the response of active obedience. They believed that what God promises, He does. They positioned themselves to continue onward, and waited for God to make a way. Their faith was put to the test, and they responded with toes in the water. Ready. And God kept His promise. The impassable turned possible with God yet again.
Have you ever been there? I have never been standing at Lake Ontario needing a way to pass through to Canada, but I have hit a wall. I have followed where I knew Jesus was leading, and then questioned Him when things didn’t come easily. But you know what? I believe that’s where He loves to have me. In between a rock and a hard place, where my options are stripped away, and all I can do is trust. He leads us to a point of faith. He takes us to the place where we have to fully trust that He will be faithful to His word. He waits until our toes are in the water, and He makes a road where there was a mountain. He moves in a way that points the outsiders to His face. He makes miracles so that His name is enlarged. He takes our feet out of the rushing current and places them on dry ground. He makes a path. He always makes a way. He is just waiting for us to get to the water’s edge. He is waiting for us to say, “I believe You, I’m watching and waiting.”
Active obedience. Dip your toes in the water. Pull up your tent stakes. Get in position to watch Him fight for you. He will. Just trust.
ARH Staff Writer
Want more? Read Joshua 3 And Exodus 14!