April 9, 2008
"DO NOT FEAR!"
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Exodus 12:31--14:14
Humanly speaking, predicaments are terrible experiences. If you stay in one long enough, you will begin to question the very roots of your faith. By and by you'll begin to look for someone to blame; usually it'll be somebody in leadership.
That's why I am extremely impressed with Moses' response. He didn't say, as most are prone to say, "God helps those who help themselves." People think that familiar saying comes from the Bible. It doesn't. It's from the pit. No, God helps the helpless!
Note Moses' more biblical response in verse 13: "Do not fear!" What strange counsel. Can't you hear his fellow Israelites? "Hey, Moses, the Egyptians are around the corner. They've got chariots and bows and arrows and pointy spears. And you're saying, 'Don't fear'? What's the matter with you, man? Do you need a change in your eyeglass prescription? Can't you see they're coming? God, save us from this near-sighted shepherd!"
"Oh, I see them fine," Moses replied. "But I'm still saying to you, 'Don't fear!' "
But Moses isn't done. After telling them not to be afraid, he has a second piece of counsel for his followers: "Stand still." And a third: "Watch." And a fourth: "The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."
Now, there's a prescription for people in an inescapable predicament! Don't be afraid, stand still, watch God come through, quit talking. The hardest is the fourth, because we just have to complain or tell somebody what a predicament we're in. But God doesn't need to be informed. He knows the predicament. He is simply waiting for us to calm down and keep silent.
When you are in a cul-de-sac, led by God to that tight place, it is there you will discover some phenomenal surprises designed just for you. That's why Moses said, "Look, let's stand still. There's a great blessing here for us that we'll miss if we turn tail and run."
You know the common response to panic? First, we become afraid. Second, we run. Third, we fight. Fourth, we tell everybody.
God's counsel is just the opposite. Don't be afraid. Stand still. Watch Him work. Keep quiet. It's then that He does His best work on our behalf. He takes over! He then handles our predicament opposite the way we'd do it. The Lord is tapping His foot, waiting for us to wait.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.