Our Old Testament reading today is Moses and the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea on dry land. I have heard and read the story so many times over the years especially at around Easter because of Passover. But the version that sticks in my memory best, is the version that I once heard an evangelist use to teach a valuable lesson on what happens when you ask God for help – and I have never forgotten it, because it is a valuable thing to know.
Whenever you ask God for help – He gives an instruction! Be aware, God will never tell you to do anything illegal or against the moral code in the Bible. But the instruction could seem to be stupid or totally unrelated. Here we come to the Red Sea crossing story.....
Here is Moses with a bunch of ex-slaves, brick-stackers, along with women and children, elderly and babies, none of them are trained warriors and even if they were they have no weapons. Pharaoh the King of Egypt, realizing that he has just lost all his slaves and has no one to do all the dirty work, has had second thoughts about letting them all go. So he comes after them, with the greatest, most technologically advanced army of the time. So here stands Moses with his brick-stackers, cornered on a beach with the sea in front and cliffs surrounding them behind and the Egyptian Army poised to come at them through the pass, to the beach. So naturally he does what we would all do in that situation, he turns to God and yells, “Help! What do I do?"
God acts immediately – He blocks the pass and gives Moses an instruction. This is the point – whenever you ask God for help – He gives an instruction. What was the instruction? Hold out the stick over the sea. Now think about that for a minute.
Moses and the brick-stackers, have the Egyptian army coming at them and the instruction God gives when he asks for help is, “Hold out your stick over the sea.” Now if Moses didn’t know God and hadn’t already seen stuff, he would think, “What???? That’s nuts, what sort of guidance is that???
But Moses has seen that stick turn into a serpent and back to a stick and he has seen the 10 plagues and a burning bush that didn’t burn....so he’s going to do what he is told, no matter how stupid it sounds and see what God does with it. Right attitude. Result - the sea parted and they escaped – walking through on dry land and then seeing their enemies killed after they reached the other side.
Lesson - No matter how stupid or unrelated that instruction may seem to be – do it!
I cried out to God for help once and He told me to do my taxes???! Now my taxes needed to be done – I had been putting it off, unable to face it, on top of the problem I had asked for help with, which was totally unrelated. It took me 2 days and the help of some friends to actually get my taxes done. But the day I posted it, I came home and found God had answered my prayer. What did you miss out on because when you asked for His help, you heard a still, small voice telling you to do something and you thought, ‘No that’s just stupid! Or you thought you just imagined that? What did you miss out on?