4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this so I will receive great glory at the expense of Pharaoh and his armies. After this, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!”
Can it be any clearer than that? If Moses had lead the now free Israelites down the obvious path to freedom, God would not have the same opportunity to demonstrate His power. If Pharaoh would have freed his two million slaves the first time Moses came and asked, God would not have the same opportunity to demonstrate His power (and Pharaoh would have been the laughing stock of the Egyptian community forever).
There are times we need to trust Him – even though our prayers seem like they’re going unanswered. If we had the obvious easy way out, then God would not receive the ultimate glory from our situations.
Unfortunately, the children of Israel reach the sea and feel trapped and start complaining:
10 As Pharaoh and his army approached, the people of Israel could see them in the distance, marching toward them. The people began to panic, and they cried out to the LORD for help. 11 Then they turned against Moses and complained, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave? 12 Didn’t we tell you to leave us alone while we were still in Egypt? Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness!”
I love Moses’s response:
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the LORD rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again. 14 The LORD himself will fight for you. You won’t have to lift a finger in your defense!”
Can you imagine the impact this had on these people? They got to see a miracle of God who has the power to open up the sea (as if the whole pillar-of-cloud-and-fire-thing weren’t enough)! You’d think this would increase their faith (although it doesn’t seem to work for long). Now, imagine the impact this had on those that remained in Egypt! God showed His power that day!
Lord, forgive my doubts. I trust You, but I’m asking for more trust. Increase my faith by the reading of Your word.