“[Israel] said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today!” Exodus 14:11-13
Israel had been eye-witnesses of God’s incredible power in Egypt. They saw the rivers turn to blood, they saw the frogs, the lice, the boils, the thunder and hail, the locusts, the darkness that God sent, and they had seen and heard the effects in the Egyptian homes of the loss of the firstborn. And now they are standing on the banks of the Red Sea complaining against Moses and wishing they were back as slaves in Egypt. Why was Israel afraid? Why did Israel complain?
They suffered from the same condition that we so often suffer from – it is called unbelief! It is a sickness of the human heart that seems to be all pervasive! It magnifies self and lessens God! This disease convinces us that we are in control, and that we better have a plan in case God does not come through. But that is not trust in God – that is trust in me wrapped in some religious talk! That is still trust in the dust – rather than in the Sovereign God who made me out of the dust!
Israel was about to witness a great salvation – but we have experienced an even greater salvation – yet we are so prone to unbelief. Our frailty and brokenness make us lose heart and cease to believe that God is on our side. Our perspective is limited and our vision is clouded. Daily we need to pray, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Daily we need to be reminded that our God is for us and not against us! Daily we need to be reminded of God’s kind heart and great power toward us as we fight against our unbelief! We are now his! He is our strongest supporter! He delights to care for us and to defend us!