[CF Devotionals] 2019-01-27 - Exodus ~ The Quality of Faith

The Fear of the People

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The Israelites looked “over their shoulder” and saw this great army closing in on them. Their reaction, understandably, was one of fear. They were not prepared to stand off the Pharaoh. The basic attitude was “Moses, why did you get us into this mess?” At least, in Egypt, the people were alive. Now, Moses brought them into the desert, to die. They were really asking if this was his intent. Fear generates irrational questions, and lack of faith in the Lord leads to fear.

“Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”” (Numbers 14:1–4 ESV).

When was the last time, when not feeling well, you thought you had a major illness, jungle rot - or when the kids were late, and you thought they were kidnapped by the Mafia? Sure, I am exaggerating, but I know there have been times like this, for most of us. Our response should be to draw closer to the Lord.

What was the response of Moses? The people shouldn’t be afraid. They were about to have the privilege of seeing the Lord rescue them from the Egyptians. The people would never again have to fear this army that was about to swoop down on them.

Just the same, I suspect the overall attitude was, “we would just as soon skip the thrill.” But the call was to stop panicking, to trust in the Lord, to obey Him and to “shut up.” These people seemed to believe in the old adage, “When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

From verse 15, it appears that maybe Moses was in turn griping to the Lord, for he was told to quit being a crybaby, and to get the people moving forward towards the Red Sea. Moses was to lift up the staff, the water would part, and the Children of Israel would cross on dry land. Personally, I always figured this was the greater miracle. God again noted that He would harden the heart of the Pharaoh, and cause the King to follow them into the Sea.

Again, the Lord was doing this for His own glory. He was continuing to show Israel, Egypt and the world at large, He is God. Because the King was riding to his death, I think it would be helpful to remind ourselves that when God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, He simply forced the King to go in the direction he wanted to. Dr. McGee stated:

“The hardening is a figurative word, which can mean twisting, as with a rope. It means God twisted the heart of Pharaoh. He was going to squeeze out what was in it. God forced him to do the thing he really wanted to do.” 2

So let’s not feel too sorry for the King. It is important, though, to recognize how sad it is that through their own stubborn hearts, men rebel against the Lord, and that leads to nothing but their destruction, be it in the waters of the Red Sea, or an eternity in Hell.

Exodus study to be continued.

You will find more info about Pastor Geoff Kragen at GKragen.com, and you may find more of his BIble studies at http://cfdevotionals.org/links/authgeof.htm.

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com


  1. McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Volume 1, “Genesis - Deuteronomy,” Thomas Nel- son Inc., Nashville, TN 1981, p. 223.

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CFD | January 2019 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics