“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!” (Exodus 14:15, TLB)
I hear a lot of messages to Christians that say, “Wait on God”, or “Let God take care of things” rather than try something under your own power. That’s good advice, of course, but study of the Bible reveals that we are also called to act. The book of James is a good one to study concerning works to go with your faith.
An example examined here is about Moses leading the Israelites at the Red Sea. As described in the 14th chapter of Exodus, Moses and the Israelites were up against it so to speak. The Red Sea, that is. So here they were trapped at the shore while the Egyptian army closed in for the kill. The people of Israel were terrified and lashed out at Moses saying they would rather be live slaves in Egypt that to be dead in the wilderness.
Moses (verses 13 & 14) basically told them not to be afraid because God would take care of the Egyptian army and the people of Israel would not have to raise a finger. Isn’t that great when we boldly proclaim that God will squash our enemies while we sit back and watch? Yeah, its nice work if you can get it.
Perhaps there are times God does such while we sit back, but in this case God was very direct with Moses letting him know it was time to quit talking and start doing. God’s orders were, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!” That throws a little cold water on the “Sit-back-and-let-God-handle-it” theology I hear so often. Another similar misused quote we all hear is this one, “God is in control”. There is some fallacy in believing that totally, because the fact is that God has given you and me the choice to make some mighty important decisions — we are in control at that point.
Because of my strong convictions about what I believe to be true, I often think of our children and their training when the Scriptures speak out to me, so here’s my take on this one. We Christians do a lot of complaining about the cultural decline in America. There is plenty of blame to go around if you wish to analyze things, but things are serious enough now that we need to quit analyzing and do something besides complain. Our children are being destroyed. Will we cry out to God like the people of Israel? Do we prefer to wait on God? Do we prefer slavery in Egypt to walking toward the sea? Will we perish? Are we afraid to march forward because we have no direction to do so?
I’m talking here about training our children and I don’t mean Sunday School. I mean Sunday through Saturday school, every day of the week, preferably by parents. If the family needs help, then the church is next in line for responsibility. While a worthwhile endeavor, praying over children before you put them on a school bus would not seem to be “Forward, march!” to me. Translation; We, and our children, and our grandchildren should not continue to be slaves to the Egyptians (government schools). Right now, Christians in America prefer slavery to “Forward, march!” How do I know? Most of America’s children are in Egypt, aren’t they? You know the excuses; can’t train my child, can’t afford Christian school, my child needs the socialization; I want my kid to play sports. Okay, so much for the parents’ responsibilities. What about the clergy? Unfortunately most clergy use the same excuses. But there is one more important aspect of the “Red Sea Forward march!” story.
Don’t miss it; this last part of the story of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea just may be the most important point made here. Right after God chastised Moses and told him to get marching he said, “Use your rod–hold it out over the water, and the sea will open up a path before you, and all the people of Israel shall walk trough on dry ground! (Exodus 14:16 TLB) Leadership! We need leaders to point the way! We need men who hear from God, have no fear of the warring enemies, and have no fear of drowning in the sea. Until church leaders point to the Red Sea, the people will remain in the wilderness and the roar of the hoof beats of the approaching army will become deafening. Pastors who believe in divine healing, for example, but don’t believe God can help parents get their children out of public schools are basically men of little faith and/or men without listening ears. Crying out to God with the sea on one side and the enemy on the other is not the best option; listening to God and marching forward is. Pastors, point the way!