Show me Your glory, I pray.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me?
Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff,
and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it,
that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground.”
Have you ever sensed God asking you to do something that made no sense? Has God led you into something you can’t understand? What God is asking the Israelites to do in today’s scripture makes no sense to human logic or feelings. “Tell the Israelites to go forward”! Really? Can’t God see? To go forward is to march them and their children right into the Red Sea!
Some Bible commentators suggest the waters of the Red Sea did not divide all at once as Moses stretched out his staff, but that the waters divided progressively with each step the Israelites took. The New Testament commentary on today’s text seems to say as much: “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land” (Hebrews 11:29a). Notice that phrase: “as if it were dry land”! The waters parted as they took each new step forward. Faith in God means being ready to take the next step no matter the obstacles. Martin Luther King Jr. defined faith as “taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Faith is always being ready to take the next step “as if it were dry land.” Faith proceeds “as if” we believed God’s Word is true. There was nothing else for the Israelites to do; they had no history of God parting a sea. They had to take the next step on the Word of God alone. They found, as God’s people have always found, that the greatest obstacles in the world present no obstacle to God.
So, God commands you and me: “Go forward!” “The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has been before. That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be your way of escape.” (C. H. Spurgeon, Devotional Classics)
Often as I have come to my Red Sea experience and feared Pharaoh’s army on my heels, I have been heartened by the words of a Gospel song:
“Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible, He does the things others cannot do.” (Lizz Wright, “God Specializes”)
There are no obstacles if God is telling you to go forward. You will find God’s command to be His enabling! Dare to take the next step on the basis of God’s Word!
- Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? If so, name it.
- Following the words of Martin Luther King Jr., what would it mean for you in this situation to “take the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”?
- Take a few moments to talk with God about being bold to go forward.