Israel had just made a massive and miraculous escape from Egypt after 430 years of being slaves. Through God’s providence and Moses’ obedience, Israel’s slavery ends in one night. Pharaoh and his people “urged the Israelites to hurry and leave” (Exodus 12:33) and gave them “articles of silver and gold and clothing” (Exodus 12:35) on their way out.
Now Israel is finally free of their Egyptian slavery and are headed toward the Promised Land – the land God first promised to their forefather Abraham. The land they have been waiting for, “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 13:5) that was more than able to hold them and sustain them.
There is only one more obstacle standing between them and their future – the Red Sea.
The place where God will seal once and for all that “the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 14:4). The place where Israel has to decide whether to turn back to their bitter past or walk boldly toward their bright future. The place where Israel had to decide if God was really real and faithful. The place where their past came back to meet them and challenge their forward progress. The place where boldness is either extinguished or empowered.
The testing ground of your faith. The battle ground for your future. The proving ground for your heart.
So there Israel stood, the intimidating Egyptian army behind them and the mighty Red Sea in front of them. And no safe ground. No hiding place. No escape.
You’re probably in the same place now in some way. You are standing at your Red Sea – the shore of your dreams, destiny, and purpose. Your past is vigilantly chasing you, wanting to stop you and chain you down. It is relentless and ruthless in staring you down and trying to intimidate you into giving up.
In front of you is the future, the hope of something bright and new. That opportunity you’ve been waiting for. That relationship you’ve been dreaming about. That dream you’ve hoped would come to pass.
And you have a decision to make. You have to take a step.
So do you step into the waters toward all God has promised you and into freedom? Or do you turn back and allow the past to swallow you up and steal your future?
Do you walk toward God and His grace? Or do you run away from His goodness back into your hurt and shame?
The choice is yours. You are standing at the water’s edge with a big decision to make.
God has parted the raging waters and made a safe path for you to walk toward Him. He is on the other side, waiting for you with open arms.
What will you do?
Don’t give into fear as Israel did (Exodus 14:10-12). Don’t be persuaded or moved by the physical things you see.
Because God is in control.
Because God has a plan for your good and His glory.
Because God wants better for you than your past.
Because “the Lord will fight for you” (Exodus 14:14) and help you overcome your past.
Because God controls the waters in front you and will part them to make passage for you (Exodus 14:21-22) and overflow them onto the past that is chasing you (Exodus 14:27-28).
Because God loves you.
So your toes are at the water’s edge and the waves are lapping at your feet. Do you turn back to embrace the past or walk toward God and pursue His good plans? Do you choose the pain of the past or the hope of the future?
The choice is yours. Make it a good one.
Marie Fremin, 1/3/16