(Today’s message summary was submitted by Lisa Woicik, who gave the message at UPPC on July 21, 2019. Watch it at UPPC.org!
It doesn’t take long after the Israelites leave Egypt before they face what looks like impending death. Camped at the edge of the Red Sea, they look up and see Pharaoh’s army fast approaching them. Trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Sea, they respond, as any of us would – with panic! Yet, Moses’ response is calm, confident in God’s deliverance.
Does this seem like the same Moses who seemed to fear and doubt everything God asked him to do (see Exodus 3-5)? Only a few weeks have passed since Moses let fear get the best of him and questioned God’s intent to help Israel (Ex. 5:22-23). Now, when death seems to be knocking at the door, Moses is outwardly calm and confident. How can that be?
When we look at this story, it is helpful to remember that Moses was still human. He felt fear and panic just like the rest of us do. The difference between the Moses at the Red Sea and the Moses of Exodus 5 is that Moses now had experienced God’s faithful provision at least 10 times. With each plague that God brought upon Egypt, God told Moses what would happen, Moses followed God’s instructions, and Moses saw God fulfill what was promised.
Repeatedly experiencing God’s faithful provision allowed Moses’ trust in God to grow stronger. Just like we trust that the sun will rise tomorrow because we don’t know of a time when it hasn’t done so, Moses’ faith in God grew stronger every time he witnessed God’s provision. Because Moses was confident in God’s provision, he was able to set aside his fear in that moment and calmly do what he needed to do so that God could deliver the Israelites to safety.
1. How have you experienced God’s provision in your own life?
2. Have you ever had a moment when you were in full panic mode? What did that look like? What brought you out of it?
3. When is fear a healthy response? What does unhealthy fear look like?
4. What is happening in your life now that seems unbearable? How might you be able to practice setting aside your fear and take the next step trusting in God’s provision?