“And the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.”" Exodus 14:15
Go Forward – You face fearful obstacles. There seems to be no way of escape. You can’t imagine how you will get through it. You’re convinced the God brought you to this place, but now things look truly desperate. “God, help me. Why did you bring me here? Get me out of this!”
And God answers, “Why are you crying out to Me?”
If you’re shaking your head wondering just how God could be so insensitive, you’re not alone. Moses had the same emotional response. Following God’s orders, he marched the children of Israel out of Egypt and right to the edge of the sea. Now the Egyptian army is about to attack and there is no place to run. Of course he cries out to God. “Help us!” But God makes it clear that prayer is not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is exactly what Elizabeth Elliott used to say: “Just do the next thing”. When God sets you on a course, remember Gideon. “Haven’t I sent you?” (Judges 6:14). If God sends, will He not provide a way? Moses and the children of Israel forgot who sent them. They looked at their circumstances but not at their Provider. So God reminded them. “What is your problem? Why are you crying out to Me again? Just go forward and watch how I unravel what you think is stopping you.”
If we knew the Hebrew, we would see all that is implied. Nasa is a verb that describes moving something out, pulling up stakes, causing something to get out of the way. It is used for pulling up tent poles, carrying away stones and setting out on a journey. God is really telling Moses, “Get moving. Don’t put your stakes in the ground here. Pull them up. Pack up and leave. Take the next step forward and you will see the glory of God revealed.”
When we come to the Red Sea, we often see nothing but red flags. On every side there is only danger and discouragement. We have prayed. God has answered. But now the road seems impossible. We can’t go back. Egypt is the land of oppression and death. But when we look ahead, we don’t see any way to cross over. So we set up camp of the shore and wait. We cry out to God, “Oh Lord, open a door for me.” And God just shakes His head in disbelief. “Have I taken you this far and yet you still don’t understand?” (Jesus said something quite like this, didn’t he? “Have I been with you so long and still you ask me to show you the Father?”) weyissa’u! Pack up! Move out! Get going!
You could stay in your tent, waiting for God to move the earth. Or you could pull up stakes and walk toward the red flag sea, expecting God to push aside the water. One choice is based on security, the other on trust.
When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth? Do you suppose he will look for wet ankles?