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You Need to Only Be Still Pastor Frick 8-23-20

You Need to Only Be Still

Exodus 14:10-31

14 10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” 19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. 29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Do you have any idea what this is? This photo is supposed to be chariot wheels still on its axel found in the Red Sea covered in coral. Whether this is an actual chariot wheel or not when the LORD destroyed Pharaoh’s army as the Israelites crossed over on dry land, this picture is a reminder, you need to only be still.

There was no way for the Israelites to be still. Directly in front of them they faced an uncrossable sea. Behind them, the powerful Egyptian army ready to pounce. The wilderness hemmed them in on all sides. Moses had seemingly led the people into the perfect trap. Now the same leader was telling them, “You need to only be still.” The people were not buying the Kool-Aid Moses was selling. They knew they were goners. Terrified, the Israelites cried out to LORD saying to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

What was the LORD’s response? “Why are you crying out to me?” Why? You really have to ask us why! We are trapped. We are going to die a horrible death either by drowning or the sword. The LORD’s question exposed the real threat to the Israelites: doubt. The reality was the Israelites had nothing to fear from the sea, wilderness or Egyptians because the LORD had promised the Israelites he was going to deliver them from the Egyptians. What they were facing on all sides shattered their faith and doubt consumed them.

In front of us is not a sea, but social distancing. Behind us not an army but protests and riots threating the freedom we have grown accustomed to. Masks surrounding us on all sides. It would seem we have every reason to cry out to the Lord. Lord what are you doing to us? Don’t you care? Are your promises really good? If only you would have ended us months ago. We are goners. Forgotten is faith that our God is using everything that is happening to accomplish his good purpose. Forgotten is faith our God has already rescued us from death. Forgotten is faith our God is in complete control. Doubt reigns supreme that all hope is gone. Faith in God seemed easier 6 months ago. Now all we are left with is doubt and uncertainty. What we need realize is the greatest challenge we are facing is no different than the Israelites faced thousands of years ago: doubt. Therefore the LORD’s response to us is the same as it was for the his children on the shore of the Red Sea: “Why are you crying out to me?” In doing so, the LORD is reminding us he hasn’t gone back on any of his promises just because we are facing a little adversity in our lives. And as Moses told God’s people so long ago when faced with adversity and seemingly certain death, so he tells us today, “You Need to Only Be Still.”

Believe me, I know this is easier said than done. The trouble we are facing from all sides seems to be tightening around us. There seems to be no way out of the pickle we have gotten ourselves into with the virus or protests because doubt accompanies faith. Whenever faith clings to the promises of God doubt is ever present wondering, questioning what the LORD says cannot possibly be true. There is no way he can save us.

Moses 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” All that evening there was a strong east wind dividing the waters and creating dry ground. The Israelites went across on dry ground. The Egyptians wound up doing the dead’s man float as the water covered the entire army of Pharaoh. Not one survived. You need to only be still.

You need to only be still. Wouldn’t it be much easier to be still if all that troubles us would be washed away in one fell swoop? Faith would then come flooding back. Why do we always believe miracles are needed to answer our doubt? If only God would perform this miracle or that miracle like he did way back when doubt would disappear. No it wouldn’t. Because the answer to our doubt is not found in some great miracle that takes away all our problems. The answer is found in the voice of our God telling us to take courage it is him. Through these words, God works the greatest miracle of all in each one of us giving us faith which conquers our doubt. God’s answer to doubt is not in parting seas and getting rid of all our problems but giving us faith to believe it is him.

Saints of God you need to only be still for this is the Angel of God, who not only led God’s people to edge of the Red Sea but went behind them and stood the people preventing the army from attacking. This is the one who gave Moses the ability to stretch out his hands to drive back the sea. This is the one who has no issues with walking on water and calming the wind on a moment’s notice. This is the LORD who is true to that name and keeps all of his promises whether it is delivering his people from Egypt or delivering you from death. This is the one who knows exactly what is going on with us and asks, “why are you crying out to me?” I got this. Yes you may have some trouble along the way but know I am in control using everything that is going on for your good purpose. This is the one who will see that no one who opposed him will survive to cause his people harm. This is the one who will see to it that you who believe, who faces trials of many kind, who perseveres under those trials will receive the crown of life he has promised to those who love him. This is the one who answers all of your doubts with saying you need to only be still it is me.

These are not just words, listen to what happened, “The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” What the LORD did for his people in rescuing them from death, he has done for you. The LORD has also saved you from certain death not with the parting of a sea but with his Son. There is no reason to ever doubt this one. It is him. You need to only be still. Amen.

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