The Red Sea Didn’t Part Itself: The Enemy At My Back
I’m terrified! Why didn’t we just stay in Egypt? Why did we come out here to die? When they catch up to us, will they kill us or take us back to Egypt, back to a life so hard that we may wish they would have killed us? They are drawing closer, the sounds of the horses are getting louder, I and I can feel the earth quaking from their approaching speed and the rhythmic beat of the soldiers footsteps. They are determined footsteps. They are coming with great purpose. Pharaoh must be furious! Where is God?! Why won’t Moses do something? Where are my kids? Where is my husband? The crowds are pressing in so hard, but where will we go? Shall we drown just to avoid going back into their brutal slavery? Perhaps. No, a life of slavery has to be better than death. Why did we listen? Why did we leave?”
Her thoughts where interrupted by the scream of her friend, Mahlah.
“Have you seen my children?”
“No, I have not and I haven’t seen mine either. The crowd is so large and pressing us dangerously close to the waters now,” said Azubah.
“What shall we do? How will we find them? Will we die?”
“No, I don’t believe we will die, Mahlah, be brave my friend, we will find our children.” Azubah wasn’t so sure of her words, but she could not allow her friend to be so terrified. Filled with her own terror, all Azubah could thing of was to do something to calm my friend. “We can look for our children together. Come Mahlah, let’s look over there.”
“Why won’t Moses or the men do something?,” asked Mahlah through her tears.
“I’m not sure my friend, but there must be a reason.” “The sound of the horses and chariots is terrifying me, Azubah!”
“I know, it’s getting so loud. We must do our best to remain calm and find out children and husbands.”
“We will never find them in this crowd! Will we die without seeing them again?”
“We will find them.”
“Nethanel!” cried Azubah. “Mahlah, there is your husband and children!”
“Where? I see them!”
Azubah smiled as she watches her dear friend Mahlah push her way toward her family. Filled with a new sense of terror, Azubah continues looking for her own family, but how will she get through this crowd. She presses on, but finds she is only able to travel more along the water’s edge than too far inland. As Azubah looks around, she sees Moses, standing facing the water. Is this man not afraid of the amy that is rushing to take us? The people are all around him, yelling, crying, begging. Some have rage in their eyes. She could hear one man yelling, “Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, “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.” (Exodus 14:12) Azubah couldn’t help but agree with this enraged man, Palti. What was delaying Moses? What was he doing? “DO SOMETHING!” is all she could scream in her mind. This is not a time to pray, this is a time to act, she thought.
Finally, Moses spoke, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you have seen today, you will never see them again. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:13–14) Then Moses with a sudden look of awareness on his face lifted his staff in one hand and stretch out his hand over the sea, as God had commanded him (Exodus 14:15–16).
“We are going to die!” Was the last thing Azubah heard before everyone near her fell deathly silent. Her back was to the water, but she could tell something was happening by looks on everyone’s face. As she turned, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Their way of escape was opening up, right before their fear-ridden and tear-filled eyes. The waters were breaking open and they began to see dry land. No one could move. Finally, Moses and Joshua could be heard telling them to go and walk across dry land.
What was happening? How? What? Why? How? Her mind was swirling…she was pressed forward by the crowd. She desperately wanted to find her family, but could not. She was swept forward with the mass of people moving at Joshua’s command. She would have to trust her future and the future of her family into the hands of the God of their Fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God that freed them from bondage and now divided waters. What was ahead she could not say, but what she will take with her in faith will last her a lifetime.
A Lesson On Faith From Azubah
Azubah, was faced with an enemy at her back, fear of the unknown, and what seemed like a dead end in front of her. All she could do was the best she could, until she was left with no option, but to stand still and watch God move on her behalf. I’m struck by how many times in our lives this has happened for us and I’m sure it’s happened in your life too. It seems that when we are left with few or what seems like no options, God moves from out of “nowhere” and does the impossible, the miraculous. Though Azubah was pressed forward into her future, unsure of the safety of her family, though she didn’t know if she would make it across safely or if the Egyptians would overtake them, she knew in her heart that God would be with her each step of the way.
When we come face-to-face with fears, with the impossible, with obstacles far too great for us to figure out how to get through them, be still and watch God fight for you, as you remain silent. (Exodus 14:14) Some may be experiencing the break up of your family, sickness, financial problems, job loss, the death of a loved one, betrayal, career moves, and enemy attacks of all sorts and many of them, but they are no match for God. It doesn’t matter how loud you hear those marching feet coming at you, how many it sounds like are coming against you, how big that army is that is trying to attack you, it is NO MATCH for God. With the raising up of one staff and mere human hands, God did the miraculous and freed His people from the bondage of slavery. He showed them what possible if they kept their faith in Him.
What are you believing God for today? What battle are you facing? No matter what it is, I’d like to encourage you to do as the Israelites did, as Azubah did so many years ago, stand still and watch God fight for you. Do all you can, go as far as you can go and when it seems there is nowhere else to go, stand still and wait for God to move.
I saw an image on Instagram this morning, before writing this post, that really moved me and had a great impact on me. It was an image of Beth Moore in what I believe is her favorite fighting stance, on her knees before God. What a powerful image and statement. Like many of us, Beth Moore knows all too well about having the enemy coming to overrun her, having what seemed like a dead end in front of her, but has witnessed God parting the Red Sea in front of her too many times to not believe that God is all He says He is and can do all He says He can do. She reminds us that sometimes the strongest “stance” we can take is not to stand at all, but to kneel down before God.
Whether you choose to stand and watch, kneel and pray, be sure that if you wait on Him, He will come through and in greater ways than you could have ever imagined. You’ve got this, stay strong, be courageous and keep your faith in Him, not just for what He can do, but for what He’s already done in your life. As you stand still and wait on Him, also be prepared to move forward fast when He gives you the signal to go!
Praying this blessed you and helps to increase your faith in our faithful God. The One that never can or will fail us in our times of need. Even if we can’t always see Him moving, we can know that He is. Oh, and one last thing for those that are like me and want to know what ever happened to Azubah. She was joyfully reunited with her husband, Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and their children on the other side of the sea. They watched together as the Red Sea came together and covered their enemy. It was a surreal moment for everyone there. Caleb and Azubah knew their journey with God had not just completed, but had just began and that they would be seeing many more of His wonders in the days to come. Like Caleb, Azubah and all the Israelites who knew very well that the Red Sea didn’t part itself, we can also know that things don’t just “happen” in our lives, but God is always working things out for us, for our good and for His glory. (Romans 8:28) Resting in this truth can help us have greater faith in God when the enemy is attacking.
God’s blessings for a faithful walk with Jesus each day,