Moses spent the first 80 years of his life on the run. He ran for his life after killing the Egyptian. He then traveled the wilderness as a shepherd. But now he courageously gave this challenge to the Israelites smitten with panic. In Exodus 14:13-14 he says, “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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” What a transformation God made in his life.
In the Bible, over 80 times we find this command, “Do not be afraid.” Clearly, God doesn’t want us to live afraid. Fear undermines our faith and makes us hide from life. If we let fear in the garage, it will move in and take over the whole house, while we eke out an existence in the closet.
Inspired by God, Moses says, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm…” In other words, “Whatever you do, don’t wave the white flag of surrender. Do not run from your enemy with your tail between your legs. Don’t buckle and beg and plead for mercy. In the face of your fear, stand firm. And having done everything you can to stand, keep standing.”
Wherever you feel trapped today, that’s God’s word for you. Don’t run from your marriage, family, calling, ministry, dream, or the impossible situation that has you surrounded today. Stand your ground because the Lord is fighting for you, and he is the Mighty Warrior. The battle you’re facing is not yours to fight. It is the Lord’s, and there is no one like our God. Let the enemy throw everything he has. No weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). Nothing in all creation can separate you from God’s love.
Read Moses word again from Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Let’s look at this verse from The Message, “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
In the original Hebrew, the word for “be still” is charash. In the most primitive sense charash meant to cut in, engrave, or plow. In the human context it meant to cut out the talking, zip it, shut it, nip it in the bud. Here’s one example from Genesis 24:21 after Isaac’s servant found Rebecca, “Without saying a word (charash), the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.” I think The Message is right on. Keep your mouth shut. Stop freaking out. Cut out the ranting over the worst-case scenarios. Quiet your soul and be still.
I think about the beautiful bird that flew into our garage one day while were cleaning it out. It had wings to soar to the heavens, but in that tragic moment, it felt trapped. The bird pounded its beak and head on the windows of our garage. It flittered and fluttered from window to window, flailing helplessly at the glass. Just before the poor thing killed itself, we got a broom and gently forced it out the garage door that was wide open the whole time. So, often we’re like that little bird. God says, “Stop it. Be still and I will fight for you.”