Faith in Action – The Israelites

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
Hebrews 11:29 (NIV)

Read: Exodus 14:1-31

Consider: Hebrews 11 moves on from individuals as examples of faith in action, to the Israelites themselves. Reading Exodus 14 you might come to the conclusion that Moses had to exercise tremendous faith in the face of Pharaoh’s army. We are told in Exodus 14:15-16 –
Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.’ Of course Moses had to exercise his faith and put it into action. But the writer of Hebrews chose the Israelites themselves. I wonder why?

Think of the situation the Israelites found themselves in; the sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind. They had been criticising Moses for bringing them into this impossible situation and we are told that: 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).

Ask yourself how you would feel in this situation. Would you feel confident, or would your mind be full of doubts? All the Israelites could think about was that they could either drown by trying to escape into the sea, or face death at the hands of Pharaoh’s army. Their perspective changed overnight because God worked a miracle for them. In the morning they no longer faced the sea, but dry land. No matter how strongly they believed in Moses as their leader, it was their faith in God that enabled the Israelites to escape on dry land. I must say that I think that my faith would have been tested if I had faced walking between two walls of water to escape a pursuing army.

We know from the Exodus account that the Israelites’ escape was seen as a mighty act of God and in other parts of the Bible we know that this incident became something to be recounted to their children and grandchildren over the generations.

It is unlikely that we will ever be in a position identical to the Israelites. It is however, likely that we may have instances in our lives where we have to depend totally upon God for working out a solution to a particular problem we are facing. In these circumstances we have the opportunity to put our faith in action by relying on God and not fretting over what we cannot control ourselves.

Pray: Father, help us to put our trust in you in every aspect of our lives, not just when we face difficult situations. May we also have the courage to speak openly to future generations about your leading in our lives. Amen

Every blessing