Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Praying for you, your family, your community and the rest of the world. Right now, the whole world is suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Let’s pray together to God, Our Ever-Loving Father, His mercy and protection on all, and God’s healing on those who are infected by the Coronavirus. We all believe God’s grace and love rest on all who look upon Him every moment with faith in Him.
But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. (Exodus 14:29-30a)
Following God’s command is not easy. We all have frequently failed many times, but what we have to do is to fix our eyes on Jesus especially in time of need, and cry out to Him for His mercy and grace on us. We will surely receive His mercy because He is our Ever-loving father. Yes, God is good. He is good. Always good to His people — us and the people of Israel who had cried out to God for four hundred years.
The people of Israel thought that God forgot them, but it was not true. God heard their cries one by one, one word by word attentively, feeling the pains that the people of Israel were getting from Egyptians in the land of Egypt. In the foreign land, the people of Israel were slaves. They were treated poorly, and they suffered from hard works day after day for generations. Bible tells,
“They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.” (Exodus 6:9b)
The people of Israel became so discouraged, and felt there was absolutely no hope, but God was working behind the scene. God brought up Moses. Moses was borne as a son of slave like others, but God stirred up Pharaoh’s heart by making him afraid of his own slaves, the people of Israel. One day, Pharaoh said,
“Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.” (Exodus 1:9b-10)
This is a pure imagination of Pharaoh because God put fear of his own slaves in the Pharaoh’s heart. Thus, Pharaoh appointed brutal slave masters over the people of Israel, hopping to wear the people of Israel down with crushing slavery labor. However, God blessed His own people. The more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. This is what God does for His own people. The more the world oppresses us, the more blessings we get. Under a hardship, in God, we multiply and spread out to cover the earth by reaching out the end of the world by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. This is the reason why we can stand firm on a solid rock of faith in Him under all circumstances, including this world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. We will overcome together in Him, and we will be increased while expanding His kingdom in every corner of the earth. This is our hope and faith in Him.
After all, Pharaoh could not subdue the people of Israel. He realized that the people of Israel were multiplying instead of decreasing. Then Pharaoh made a vicious plan — killing all male children born from the people of Israel. Pharaoh, the king of Israel, gave order to the Hebrew midwives.
“When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” (Exodus 1:16)
But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too. So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful.
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people:
“Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.” (Exodus 1:21)
As a result, every newborn Hebrew boy had to be thrown into the Nile River. Moses was born, and the Moses’ parents hid Moses. Soon they had realized that they could not hold him any longer. They got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. They put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The parents’ hearts were breaking, but it was better than being killed by the Egyptians. What they could do was their heartful prayer to God for Moses’ safety and God’s protection on Moses.
The basket carrying Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. The princess adopted Moses as her son, although she knew Moses was Hebrew. Pharaoh, her father, tried to kill all Hebrew male babies to subdue the people of Israel, but Moses became one of the princes! The fear of Pharaoh made him a murderer of all Hebrew male babies, but God used Pharaoh’s brutality to make Moses as one of Pharaoh’s princes to be nurtured by Pharaoh himself. Again, this is what God does against all human wisdom and plan to harm His people.
This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Pharaoh’s fear and his plot to kill all Hebrew male babies actually brought Moses into his own family. God’s foolishness is wiser than the wisest of human. Thus, we can be in peace in Him although we meet the most fearful in this world. All things from human wisdom will soon be reduced down to nothing by themselves. Thus, Palmist sang a song from his heart while giving thanksgiving to God:
I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found. (Psalm 37:35-36)
Yes, soon all human wisdom will be no more. Pharaoh’s plot made Moses get into his palace as one of his princes. What a wisdom of God, and how foolish the Pharaoh’s wisdom was!
As Moses was growing up in the Palace, the people of Israel kept suffering due to the brutality of Egyptians, which persisted. Both the people of Israel and the Egyptians including the Pharaoh himself did not know what was actually going. Moses was being prepared by God. Without knowing this, the people of Israel kept crying out to God.
This is what God is doing when we pray to God. To our eyes, nothing is changed after the long prayers. But it does not reflect the reality, because simply we cannot see the whole picture including what God does. In reality, God is constantly working for us because God put all His heart to our cries to Him as our prayers. Whenever we open our mouth to God from the deepest part of our heart, God gives His undivided attention to our prayer. Then God is diligently working for us to give the best, which is beyond our comprehension. This is the true reality that we can only see in faith.
We have to always remember. Just because we cannot see God’s hand, God is neither deaf to our prayer nor idle while doing nothing to our prayers. God is always faithful to us under all circumstances. He has no rotating shadow. He has not been changed, and will not be changed at all in future and forever. This is the reason why we can have hope in Him although we don’t see His hand with our naked eyes. Rather we should believe in Him and trust Him while pouring out our heart in prayer. Surely, we will get to know Him deeply as Our Ever-Loving Father, and truly appreciate His holy plan packed with His mercies, compassion and love.
Indeed, God’s plan was to prepare Moses in order to free up the people of Israel. Under Pharaoh’s care, Moses had grown up in the palace. How long did the Moses spend time in the palace? Forty years. Moses was nurtured, educated, and trained as the top prince in the kingdom of Egypt. The Pharaoh’s plan to wear down the people of Israel by killing all male Hebrew babies. However, the Pharaoh’s plan was ended up executing God’s plan: creating Moses to execute God’s plan. The people of Israel prayed against the brutality of Egyptian and they just wanted to be freed from the brutal bondage, but God’s plan was much bigger than what they were asking for in their prayers. Our faithful God’s plan was not just to answer the prayers of the people of Israel, but also to give what promised to Abraham – the Promised Land.
God is not just a generous human who provide what we ask for, but Our God is Our Ever-Loving Father with full of mercy, grace and love. Our God is also infinitely faithful to His promise. Once He promises, He will keep the promise no matter what happens in our lives and even in the entire world. Thus, we can confidently come to God, and we hear His loving voice through the Holy Spirit in our heart, which is our blessing given to us by Our Father.
After the forty years of God’s special nurturing program, being actually conducted by the Pharaoh in his own palace, Moses became the towering prince with full of earthly knowledge, wisdom, skills, power, and strength. It was just one-half of God’s plan. Moses was half-done, and the rest half of God’s training was waiting for Moses. Moses did not know this fact, and did his own courageous act for the people of Israel. Moses killed one of the Egyptian slave masters. Although his killing was for the people of Israel, his own people, but they rejected Moses. Moses had to flee to the Midian wilderness. Moses had enrolled in the 2ndhalf of God’s special training. He spent the next forty years as a humble shepherd in the Midian wilderness. He learned humility. He completely gave up all his humanly ambition and the greatness gained while he was staying in the Egyptian palace as a prince. Then God personally called the humble Moses and sent Moses back to the people of Israel to lead the people. Moses, who did not have any more human ambition and/or passion, initially refused to answer God’s calling. He simply wanted not to have the same miserable experience with the people of Israel. He had paid enough for his failure by spending as a humble shepherd for forty years. This is the reason why Moses was reluctant, but God’s persistence made him answer God’s calling.
Moses was specially mold by God for His purpose to free up the people of Israel. Remember that Pharaoh started all these things in order to subdue the people of Israel. However, Pharaoh himself became a victim of his own plan. He continuously hardened his heart, and at the last plague brought down by God, he lost his own firstborn son. How bitter the Pharaoh heart was! A great fear fell on Pharaoh, and Pharaoh forcefully expelled the people of Israel. Who did start the vicious plan of killing all male babies of the people of Israel? Then who did actually become the victim of the plan? The answer is easy. Pharaoh became the victim to his own plan. Yes, God made Pharaoh pay for his own vicious plan against God’s people. How comforting! God is always with us, and He is on our side. Then who can dare to against us? God made the king of the most powerful county defeated by his own slaves using Pharaoh’s own plan. This gives us a big smile. But this should be a dreadful message to those who are against us.
God kept working on His own people also. How about the people of Israel? Were they fully ready to received God’s answer to their prayers along with receiving God’s promise, which was given to the people of Israel through Abraham? The short answer is no.
Indeed, they had to go through a special training course also to further build up their faith. Their faith was like a chaff blowing by wind. For example, one day, they welcomed Moses as their leader who would free them from Pharaoh. The following day, they showed their back to Moses simply because Moses failed at the first attempt. Yes, Moses had an issue too. In short, both Moses and the people of Israel had not believed God and did not fully trusted Him.
Moses could not deliver God’s message to Pharaoh, when Moses saw Pharaoh sitting on high in the magnificent throne. Thus, God prepared ten plagues for both Moses and the people of Israel, and God kept using Pharaoh by hardening his heart. Pharaoh had the foggiest idea why he kept hardening his heart even all of his officials begged not to harden his heart. We know why. It was a part of God’s plan. Yes, God even used Pharaoh to make His will be done for His own people. This is the reason why we can say the world revolves around us not the other way around. God governs the world with His almighty hand and we are His beloved children. Therefore, we can stand firm on the rock of faith, be still and see what God does for us.
The ten plagues, as God prepare, were perfect to train both Moses and the people of Israel. Moses became truly bold in front of Pharaoh, and directly delivered what God told to Moses. The people of Israel, in faith, had the first Passover in the land of Egypt while they were still slaves. No official notice was given by Pharaoh that the people of Israel would be freed on the following day. The battle between Moses and Pharaoh had been going many months. They saw the plagues landed on the Egyptians only, which was a truly miracle. Although there was no sign of being freed, they believe God, and the message delivered by Moses. They faithfully followed as instructed by God. All of the people of Israel put the blood of God’s promise on the door post, and believed the God’s promise that the blood on the door post would prevent from the death of their firstborn son. Both Moses and the people of Israel truly believed. God gave what was promised because they believed. God let them leave Egypt.
When they left Egypt together, the Egyptians blessed the people of Israel. They provided whatever requested by the people of Israel because they were in great fear of God and His people. So, the people of Israel stripped the Egyptians of their wealth. Moses and the people of Israel were truly one in God. The oneness in faith was the most beautiful scene in God’s eye!
However, God also knew their faith were not fully mature yet to receive the glorious promise of God – inheriting the Promised Land. The Promised Land was occupied by six nations. The people of Israel could not match against even one of the nations. They were just slaves for four hundred years. Nobody was trained as a professional solider. They possessed no weapons. If they fought against one of the nations right after their exodus, they would have had been completely slaughtered. In earthly measures, it was impossible for them to occupy the Promised land.
Then how could the people of Israel inherit the Promised Land? The answer is faith. An absolute faith in God. Later, we will see how the people of Israel actually occupy the Promised Land, which was done by their absolute faith in God. Therefore, we should not fear although we might be looked like grasshopper to the eyes of our adversaries. In fact, here is the report of the spies who were sent to the Promised Land:
We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” (Numbers 13:33)
However, later they took over the Promised Land by faith. Of course, it was not done by strength and power, but by faith. Anyway, they were weaker than any nations in the Promised Land.
God actually revealed the Israelites’ faith. Soon after the people of Israel left Egypt, Pharaoh found he did a truly stupid thing. His country could not function without slaves. They were the workers making the nation functioning. He again hardened his heart, and prepared his best soldiers to chase down and capture the people of Israel. He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. Pharaoh assembled the best and most formidable force to reclaim the Israelites as their slaves. Then Pharaoh left with his armies with fist raised in defiance.
It was the first opportunity to truly test the faith of Moses and that of the people of Israel. The result was mixed. Moses passed the test, but the people of Israel miserably failed. They screamed and blamed at Moses and God by telling
“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: 11b-12)
By faith, Moses had already become a true leader who could lead the people of Israel. Moses absolutely trusted God under the dire situation. He calmed down the people of Israel, who were in fear of the quickly approaching Egyptian armies.
“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13b-14)
Moses believed that God would fight for the people of Israel while looking at the Egyptian armies dashing at him, and trusted God. What a faith! This is the faith that could continue moving the entire people of Israel rather than going back to Egypt. Under Moses’s leadership, they set out toward the sea. It was so obvious that there was no more road to go because of the sea. Even so, Moses and the people of Israel moved forward toward to the sea.
Upon this faith, God also responded by moving the angel of God to rear of the people of Israel to block the advancement of the Egyptian armies. The people of Israel saw and were greatly encouraged. The people of Israel fixed eyes on Moses rather than the rapidly approaching Egyptian armies.
God always uses the truly faithful in Him in all circumstances. The two million people of Israel were shaken and in fear, but the faith of one person, Moses, prevailed. This is the power of a true faith in God, which always pleases God. God used His mighty hand and disturbed the quickly approaching Egyptian armies fully equipped with the best chariots, the best horses, the best glittering spears and swords. Even today, one person’s faith can change history by the power of God.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Then God commanded Moses to raise hand over the sea, which was not an action that a person with a faint faith could take. In faith, Moses raised his hand over the immense size of the sea. Before the Moses’ tiny hand compared to the immense sea, the sea gave a way by revealing a path to the other side for the people of Israel. The red sea was split by the power of God. God also dried up the path over the night by blowing the east wind. The following morning, the people of Israel saw the path was dried up. The people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. Nobody had ever seen such a marvelous scene. All praised God, and followed Moses to the other side of the sea. That is how the LORD rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. Even today, God is preparing a path by splitting the sea in front of us, and makes us walk on dry ground through the sea.
When all the Israelites had reached the other side, God command to Moses,
“Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” (Exodus 14:26b)
So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but God swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. It was a terrible day to the Egyptians.
And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that God had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in God and in his servant Moses.
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to God:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has given me victory
This is my God, and I will praise him—
my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
The LORD is a warrior;
Yahweha is his name! (Exodus 15:1-3)
They kept singing all day long while looking at what God did for them and to the Egyptians, which was the scene that nobody could be forget forever and generations to come. Finally, they were freed from the Egyptians, and they became God’s people forever. Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. It was the day that God had answered to the prayer of the people of Israel. By the way, it is also true that God delivered them not because they were faithful to God, but God was faithful to the people of Israel, His own people. Yes, therefore, we can trust Him under any circumstances. Although we might not be faithful, but God is faithful to us unconditionally because we are His beloved children. Let’s raise our voices and praise Him! We will surely approach Him confidently under any circumstances. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus with the faith of Moses immutable under all circumstances, and together walk the walk given to us. Give thanks to God, and together praise His name with our loudest voice from our hearts.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)