Daily Devotional

Friday, January 22, 2016

Showdown

read: Exodus 14

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still. . . . And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. Exodus 14:14 & 18

If we are to accept this story as it is related to us, then we are invited to believe that parting the Red Sea was God’s way of proving himself to all parties in this conflict. To the Hebrews, God would prove able to provide for all their needs. To Moses, God would prove to be a faithful companion on the journey. To the Egyptian army, God would prove to be Lord over all—able to move heaven and earth and part seas for those who follow him. To Pharaoh, God would prove that earthly power has no dominion over heavenly power. In the showdown between God and the great king of Egypt, God won.

 We may not feel the need for God to prove God’s self to us—and God may feel even less need to do so. However, it is important to remember who claimed ultimate victory in this showdown.  Pharaoh commanded soldiers and chariots and the great warhorses that drove them. Pharaoh had power over slaves and the ability cast fear into the hearts of all his subjects. But God commanded the winds and the waves and the heart of a man named Moses. In this showdown by the Red Sea, God planned to capture the hearts of the entire Hebrew people—hearts that had formerly been enslaved to Pharaoh. God won. A nation of wandering Israelites was formed. And this story has been told and retold ever since. Pharaoh may have been king of Egypt, but God is Lord of all.

What pharaoh do you fear?

 Lord, I don’t think of myself as a slave, but I do feel like there are powers that exercise influence over me. Which is to say, I feel weak at times . . . or, at least, not strong enough to effect much change in my life or the world. I can feel like a pawn sometimes in a game that is being played over which I have little or no influence. Help me to remember that you are Lord over all, and there is no earthly power that will claim victory over you. And if I follow you, I dare to believe that I will be able to share in your victory. You are my Lord, I will not fear the rule of any other. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.