“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. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14).
Our church New Year 2011 motto is “In Everything Give Thanks!”(1 Thes.5:18). We are trying to give thanks to God in everything because this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus (v.18). In order to do that, we have devoted ourselves to prayer (v.17). Moreover, we have devoted ourselves to test everything and to hold on to the good and to avoid every kind of evil (vv.21-22). But Satan is really trying hard to exchange our heart of thanksgiving to heart of complaining and of grumbling. Actually, Satan is putting unbelief, dissatisfaction, and complaints in our hearts. And when we see what Satan is doing in our hearts, we cannot but wonder how we must see our changing hearts and what kind of heart should we have so that our hearts may not be changed into heart of unbelief, of dissatisfaction and of complaints.
When we look at Exodus chapter 14, we see the story of exodus in which the Egyptian king Pharaoh sent the Israelites away after the tenth plague and they were walking in the way of wilderness. The Lord told Moses that Pharaoh would think “The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert”(v.3) and would hardened his heart so that he would pursue the Israelites (v.4). As God said, Pharaoh changed his heart (v.5) and hardened his heart (v.7). And he pursued the Israelites with his six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them (v.7). God has to send ten plagues to the Egyptians in order to make Pharaoh to soften his heart. But now after he found out that the Israelites had fled, he changed his mind and pursued them. And I think this was not only Pharaoh’s heart but our hearts as well. We see ourselves that our hearts are being softened by God’s disciplines and thus hear God’s voice and obey Him. But we change our hearts so quickly that our hearts are being hardened and begin to disobey God’s commands. Why our hearts are change so quickly?
When we look at Exodus chapter 14, we also see the Israelites who change their hearts quickly. When they were delivered by God, they came out of Egypt and were marching out boldly (v.8). But when Pharaoh and his army approached and marching after them (vv.9-10), they were terrified (v.10). How could the Israelites change their hearts so quickly? What happened to their hearts of boldness? The Israelites went further and complained to Moses saying “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? 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!” (vv.11-12). Does it make sense? How can it be better for them to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert? How can it be better for us to serve this world as a slave of sin than to die in Christ? How can eternal death be better than physical death in Christ? The Israelites’ complaints out of their unbelief do not make sense at all. But these kind of senseless complaints are not only in our hearts but also are coming out of our mouth continually. Shouldn’t we be satisfied with Jesus alone? Shouldn’t we be thankful for every spiritual blessing that God has given us in Christ Jesus? (Eph. 1:4) Where is our hearts of boldness when we have experienced God’s deliverance? Why do we worry and run about in confusion?
God wants faithful heart from us. He wants from us quite heat that trust God completely. When the Israelites were terrified by Pharaoh and his army, Moses told them not to be afraid but stand firm for they would see the deliverance of the Lord (v.13). He told them to be still so that they might be able o see God’s deliverance (v.14). Why? Because in quietness and trust is their strength (Is. 30:15). God doesn’t want us to have hearts of fear and of complaints. Rather, He wants us to have hearts of complete trust in God for our salvation. Thus, He wants to see us move on boldly our hearts trust in Him (Ex. 14:15). What will you do?
“… "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, …” (Is. 30:15),
Pastor James Kim