“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” - Psalm 50:15 (NIV)
There is a cliché saying, “between a rock and hard place!” It often implies one who finds himself in a difficult place, where there is almost no way out. If you want to get a sense of that, picture the situation the Israelites were in soon after Pharaoh of Egypt consented, against all objections, that they leave Egypt. Now as they left rejoicing, “So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon” (Exodus 14:9). In front was the Red Sea and all around the panic stricken Israelites, saw the ferocious armies of Pharaoh, eager for a kill.
As you can imagine, “So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.” (vv 10). But that was not for everyone. All of us have a way how we deal with difficult moments but some of us find it easy to look for someone to blame. So for some Moses became the object of hate. “Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’?” (vv 11-12).
Moses was too in difficult place, but the Lord gave him an answer for the panic stricken Israelites, with many around quick to lose hope. “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today..” (vv 13).
As the Egyptians divided for the attack, suddenly, “the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained” (vv 27-28).
Today, in the midst of a pandemic, with the situation rife with bad news of many deaths, and health facilities overwhelmed, the leadership of the nation apparently paralyzed, that can be a rock and hard place. Where do we turn? In our personal lives, any of us can find himself with armies of Pharaoh pursuing him and then there is the Red Sea ahead. Where do you turn?
Other than losing confidence and hope, finding someone to blame, the word of God is, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold[ your peace” (vv 14). Look up to God.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, in a time such as this where all around us we witness devastation, it is so easy to lose hope, but yet we turn to you, that you may deliver us to a safe land, as you once did for the Israelites against the pursuing armies of Pharaoh, this we pray in Jesus’s name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!