“ 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.”
There’s a video on YouTube watched over 30 million times of two men on a moped on a dusty Indian road in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve Forest. They are keeping totally still as a guide quietly gives them instructions. Why? Simple. There are, not one, but two, huge tigers taking a significant interest in them. As the story unfolds, the tigers come out to them and are even sniffing the guys on the bike. The guide just keeps saying, “Keep still”. Somehow, the terrified bikers manage to keep still and the tigers leave without attacking. Can you imagine the nerve required to keep still while a wild tiger decides whether he likes your aftershave?!
This is a similar challenge God gives to the Israelites faced by the Red Sea in front and a fast-approaching army of Egyptian chariots behind! Unarmed and exhausted, they had no heart for a fight so God gives them the most amazing promise, “You do nothing, and I will fight for you.” They were not to raise a shout, break a jug or blow a trumpet. Simply be still and let the sword of the Lord do the fighting. We know then the most miraculous thing happens as the Red Sea opens up before them. Now was the time to move! They cross on dry land and watch as the whole Egyptian army is swallowed up by the sea.
When we face battles, rarely do we consider if God is saying, “keep still and let me do the fighting”. Our enemy might be like the prowling tiger facing the Indian bikers and keeping still, in the face of that threat, is the most counter-intuitive response. Yet sometimes that’s all we can do. We’re exhausted and all the fight has drained out of us.
When King Hezekiah was surrounded by the mighty Assyrian army taunting him and the people of God, his response was to pray and wait (2 Kings 19). Isaiah tells him that his prayer has been heard and the next day they found that while they slept, the angel of the Lord had gone into the enemy camp and all they found was dead bodies. Our seemingly impossible situations can be taken to God in prayer and, no matter how strange it seems, sometimes we have to be still, trust God and let Him fight for us.
I love my family. My husband often jokes that I would rather have things hard for myself as long as the family are happy. As a mother, this seems to be our lot! I have two daughters who are now happily married with their own children and serving as Deacons in the church. I still pray for them all the time and love them as much as ever. There is nothing much harder in life than seeing one of your children suffering or making poor choices. Above all else, we wanted our children to know Jesus for themselves and to learn to love and follow Him with their whole hearts. For one of our daughters, there was a time as an older teenager when the things and pressures of the world began to draw her away from her faith. This reached the point where she had built her friendships and interests outside of the church. She was still my lovely daughter but I knew God had better plans for her. All I could do was pray for her and, as I did, I felt a complete reassurance and confidence that God was in control. Nothing was changing but, somehow, through the Holy Spirit, I knew it would be OK. Later, while my husband and I were away, God did something in my daughter. She spoke with a friend in the church and, without me saying anything, she came to me and announced that she was getting right with God and recommitting her life. Since that moment, she has not looked back and she and her sister have grown into amazing women of God. Prayer is a powerful weapon when we trust God in all things, even if we don’t understand.
What has God said to you through today’s promise?