Grace and Introspection

Parting of the Red Sea

Sometimes we approach the stories we read in the Bible with a bit of arrogance, don’t we?

“Well, I would have never done that!”

or

“I can’t believe anyone could have acted {or reacted} like that!”

If you are reading along in the Bible Challenge, we have arrived in one of the most exciting books of the Bible–

Exodus.

In this book we witness God’s power through many different miracles, we see His care and protection for His people, and we read of God’s faithfulness and sinful man’s faithlessness.

It’s the faithless stories that drive me a little crazy. One of these is told in Exodus 14:10-12. Here’s what it says–

And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

My initial reaction when reading this was to condemn the Israelites harshly. For goodness’ sake, they had just lived through the ten plagues where they had witnessed miracle after miracle. They had seen the lives of their firstborn children and livestock spared, while the firstborn sons and livestock of the Egyptians were killed on one dark, dark night. There was only one explanation for how they could even be beside the Red Sea at that very moment and that explanation was God. God had worked miraculously to bring them to this point. They had seen it with their very own eyes!

And yet they doubted.

How could that be?

But then I remember times in my life when I do the same thing. Oh, it may not be in such dramatic fashion. I’ve never had the waters part for me or food fall down from heaven, but I’ve seen the hand of God work in mighty and wondrous ways– ways that defy circumstances and could never be called coincidental. And then, after all that, the impossible scenario comes along and I throw up my hands with questions and doubts, all the while wondering if God really does care for me.

One thing I have learned over the years is that when we are in our lowest, most hopeless place is when we see God work in the most incredible ways.

If we can do it ourselves and fix it ourselves and, through our own effort, solve our own problems then we have no need for God.

But when we reach that hopeless place–when we are smack dab against the Sea with nowhere to run and the enemy is headed towards us at breakneck speed-that’s when God shows His power!

Sure, we can criticize the Israelites’ reaction as they sat in that terribly hopeless place, but I am pretty sure we would have done the same thing. After all, we do do the same thing.

As we read through the Bible and even as we interact with other believers, let’s remember to do so with humility, love, and much grace. We don’t know how we would act in any circumstance, but one thing we can be sure of is that we are sinners, just like everyone else. And that fact alone should keep us humble and full of grace. And let’s keep our eyes open, because our God is still working in our most hopeless situations!

 

 

8 thoughts on “Grace and Introspection”

  1. “WaWaWa” is often my first reaction to the hard things in life.. If I take some time and carefully, prayerfully, consider my response, it is usually better than my first reaction.

  2. I had to smile as I read Exodus 16:3 where the Israelites made this comment…”Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Really, it was that great in Egypt? Or is this just like us when we exagerate our plight, for whatever reason, whether it be for sympathy or to make us look courageous, like Brian Williams, who has been in the news because of his exagerations.

    1. I think we always look back at different stages of our lives and tend to think it was great, even if it wasn’t so great! I guess we can be thankful that we mostly remember the good stuff of our lives :)

  3. This was a good reminder how the Lord provides daily manna. I needed to repent of my grumbling & lack of appreciation for all that is given to me.

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