Exodus 14 records the historical account of the Israelites’ fear and dismay at seeing Pharaoh’s men, the Egyptians, hotly pursuing them with evil intent as they came to the waters of the Red Sea, during their exodus from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. In fear the Israelites, distraught at their apparent impending doom, bewailed to Moses, “Did we not say to you in Egypt, “Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today, FOR THE EGYPTIANS WHOM YOU HAVE SEEN TODAY, YOU SHALL SEE THEM NO MORE, FOREVER. The Lord shall fight for you and YOU SHALL HOLD YOUR PEACE,” Exodus 14:12-14
The peace that God gives bypasses my understanding. We are encouraged in Proverbs 3:5 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN NOT on your own understanding.” Do not settle your eyes on “the Egyptians,” look above! It is an acceptable place with God not to understand, for that is where we have to trust Him with situations and exercise our faith in Him. Philippians 4:7 declares, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is the doorkeeper of a Christ-ruled heart…..”Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee,” Isaiah 26:3.
Verse 14 of the previous Exodus quote instructs us to “hold our peace.” In our walk with the Lord, He teaches us how to do this. We have many situations that arise to exercise our faith in God, “lean not on our own understanding,” and therefore “hold” or maintain God’s peace in our hearts as we learn to trust Him.
Luke 19…..Jesus wept over Jerusalem before His crucifixion, knowing that the men of the city would bring about His death in their rejection of Him, their Messiah. After His ride into Jerusalem on the colt, Jesus’ disciples rejoiced and praised God, much to the Pharisees’ disgust, who wanted Jesus to rebuke His disciples’ behaviour. Jesus beheld the city and wept over it prophesying it’s future downfall, verse 41 – 44 “……if you had known….in this your day, the things which belong to your peace…..for the days shall come when your enemies shall compass you around and keep you in on every side…..because you did not know the time of your visitation. Do I recognise God when He comes? He often “comes” in the guise of circumstance. Trials and tribulations are opportunities in my life for breakthrough, potential victories to overcome. The circumstances may not change, but my attitude to them can when I push into God and find my peace restored, then I learn to “hold” it, and God forms another measure of the character of His Son in me. Deliverance IN a situation does a greater work in me than deliverance FROM something and often precedes the latter. The peace God offers me is a peace that controls me IN conflict, and not FROM it. It is an opportunity to prove that “His yoke is easy” in impossible situations and maintain His peace in them, discovering another portion of God’s faithfulness.
DON’T ASK GOD TO CHANGE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, HE SENT THEM TO CHANGE YOU!
The voice of the Lord through Moses said, “Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord….” Exodus 14:13. How do I stand? In Ephesians 6:13 onwards, Paul talks about the armour of God: “….and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness…..” This part of the armour is symbolic of embracing the truth God reveals to me and enables me to stand in His righteousness…..I stand, God fulfills, the glory is all His!
There is always a challenge when adversity knocks on the door and my murmuring heart is tempted to wander from the God I love. When such temptation arises, may the words of the old hymn by R. Robinson be the prayer of my heart and the reality of my walk with the Lord:
Come, Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace,
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious measure
Sung by flaming tongues above,
O the vast, the boundless treasure
Of my Lord’s unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I’m come,
And I hope by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be,
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter
BIND MY WANDERING HEART TO THEE,
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,
Take my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it from Thy courts above!