Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”-Exodus 14:15-16
Moses is under a helluva a lot of psychological pain as he attempts to maintain his composure in front of the elders of Israel who are pointing their bony fingers at him and coldly reminding him they never really wanted to leave Egypt in the first place.
Moses may have seemed confident when he answered “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”
But I’m pretty sure he was dying inside.
We aren’t given any details of the exchange that occurred between Moses and God prior to verse 15, but given God’s response to basically just shut up and get moving, we can be pretty sure that Moses was in the process of unloading all his frustrations onto God.
Was God’s curt response a sign he was irritated with Moses?
Of course not.
We are told to cast our burdens upon Him.
However, this situation brings to light an important spiritual principle we would be remiss to overlook and it is this.
There is a time when action is more important than prayer.
When God has made crystal clear the path we are to take, THE TIME FOR PRAYER IS OVER!
At that point, anything less is just frivolous dilly-dallying.
Do you want to know the main reason we get stuck in our walk with the Lord?
We get stuck because we second-guess what He has already made clear we should do.
And why do we second-guess what God has already made clear we should do in our lives?
The answer to this question is also simple.
We rethink His will for our lives because the path He has told us to take seems difficult, scary and/or unattractive.
And that’s it.
We become like Balaam who kept going back to God hoping to get a different answer more in line with what he wanted.
And a different answer never came.
Here’s what you’ve really got to understand.
Here Israel appears to be in big time serious trouble.
They’re sandwiched between the Egyptian army that wants to kill them and the Red Sea.
Things are just not going according to what they had thought or planned.
BUT, that does not mean that they were not in God’s will.
I think we all have a tendency to interpret the will of God based on our circumstances.
We mistakenly assume that when things are going well, we must be in the Will of God, and when things aren’t going well, we must not be in the Will of God.
Well, as we can see from this part of Scripture, that’s not always going to be the case.
I’ll be honest with you.
I want God’s will for me to be comfortable, easy, smooth, and trouble-free.
And I suspect that’s how most of us want to live out our lives.
It’s NOT really God first.
It’s our comfort first.
And when we are called to do something that threatens our pathetic, societal-approval-seeking, idyllic existence, we cry out to God like Moses did or decide to go back to the safe and familiar like the Israelites who wanted to return to Egypt.
Well there is an answer to this “problem” and God has given it to us in His Word.
“Why are you crying out to me? Move on!”
….is the solution.
I leave you with this quote from one the greatest Messianic Jewish scholars in history.
“There are times when even prayer seems of itself to represent unbelief, and only to go forward in calm assurance is our duty”.– Alfred Edersheim, The History of the Old Testament