Exodus

Be Silent and See

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And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14)

Imagine the experience: You've been freed from slavery in a foreign land, guided by the cloud of God's glory, walked through the parted Red Sea and now stand before a sea full of your enemy’s corpses swept away in the wave of God's wrath. It’s safe to say that your perception of God has just reached a new level of fear and awe.

When was the last time that you were in awe at the greatness of God?

Unfortunately, many of us have become too busy or too distracted in our daily lives to sit down and be silent with our minds meditating on the greatness of God. As the Israelites felt the Egyptian army behind them and approached the Red Sea in front of them, they felt the weight of the world closing in on them. They began to worry, "Why are we here? And how are we going to get out of this?" And the answer that Moses gives them is something that should echo in our ears today, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today.... The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."

Our rescue comes when we rest in God.

Too often, our circumstances cloud our perception of God. Let’s not fear the chariots of this world closing in all around us. Instead let’s step out and stand firm with confidence in our God who fights for his people. And let’s learn how to be silent and to truly see the works of God’s goodness and greatness all around us.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, walking in obedience can sometimes lead us to feel vulnerable and stretched beyond our limits and abilities. Help us to fearlessly stand firm by trusting your power and promises. And as we walk in trusting obedience please give us recognizable glimpses of your presence and power. Amen.

Lead by Empowering

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Moses' father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. (Exodus 18)

There’s no question about it; Moses was a leader. Not only did he lead the deliverance of God's people from their bondage in Egypt, he also acted as the lawgiver, judge and mediator for God's people. This leadership position that God had given him was one that he took seriously, and so he was sincere in all of his efforts to concern himself with the cares and conflicts of his people no matter how great or small the case. However, this became a full-time commitment that would take up the entirety of the day.

One day his father-in-law foresaw the exhaustion and lack of efficiency this brought on Moses as a leader, and so he offered him some wise advice:

“What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.”

How many of us might be trying to do too much and therefore sacrificing efficiency for utter exhaustion?

As Matthew Henry once wrote, "There may be over-doing even in well-doing."

Now to be sure, we are never to settle for less than what we are responsible for doing, but we also ought not to load ourselves with more than we are responsible to bear. The truth of the matter is that great men can display great power by empowering other great men. 

The tasks of a deliverer, lawgiver, judge and mediator was more than even a great man like Moses was capable of fulfilling completely on his own. And so, through his father-in-law’s advice, Moses made a decision to lead by empowering others around him. Moses appointed new leaders to help with these tasks and only the essential things would make it to the supreme court of Moses' attention and action.

Empowering others can decrease our exhaustion and increase our efficiency.

Moses was a great leader, but one day a greater leader than Moses came into this world. He was more than capable of the tasks undertaken by a deliverer, lawgiver, judge and mediator.

Jesus our Lord and Leader is the ultimate Deliverer, Lawgiver, Judge and Mediator for his people. No matter how great or small our case or concern may be, he has invited us to cast our cares upon him. He exhausted himself by bearing the great burden of our sin and empowered us to live the life that we were created to live.

And so, may we take on the responsibility of finding rest in the work of Christ, and may we perform our tasks efficiently and effectively by embracing a kind of leadership that empowers others.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, thank you that we don’t have to work and perform to earn your acceptance and love. Help us to be humble enough to realize that we cannot do everything on our own and may we become leaders who love and empower the people around us like you Lord Jesus. Amen.