Last week we had some of the story of Joseph. At the end of that story – we didn’t get there but hopefully you’ve read on from last week – the people of God come to Egypt as a place of refuge from the severe famine that was in the land.
Today we have moved on some several generations and the people of Israel are the slaves of the people of Egypt. They have cried out to God to save them and they have been heard. Moses comes and engages in battle with Pharaoh in order to release the people of God from their slavery. And he succeeds.
As the Israelites journey through the desert on the run from the Egyptians they come to the Red Sea. We hear their cries for deliverance and scepticism that leaving Egypt was the right thing to do. It’s not the first time we hear the Israelites complain, and nor will it be the last!
Moses tells them to trust in God. God who had been with them all the time, God who has brought them out of slavery, God who travelled with them day and night as either a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire. God who knew what they were facing and God who would save them again. All they had to do was stand still and trust in God.
The Biblical heroes that we’ve been following over the last few weeks all had the knowledge that God was with them, they all recognised that because certain good things happened to them and to those around them and promises made were kept. What we haven’t focused on as much is the faith and reliance they had in God. Noah, Abram and Joseph all trusted in God with their very lives and now Moses is demanding that the Israelites, the people of God, do the same.
Any good relationship is a two-way thing. God promises to be with us, to care and love us, to guide us on the path that we are to follow but we also need to trust in God. We need to give God our worship and praise as well as our loyalty. That’s the next step in our relationship with God, after the knowledge of God’s presence comes the trust in that presence and with that trust comes obedience to the call of God, wherever that may lead. Remember God is with us.
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