After a dramatic turn of events, Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt where they had been slaves for 430 years. Two to three million Hebrews had embarked on a mass-exodus out of bondage and they were headed for the land promised to them by God. But as they were leaving Egypt, the Pharaoh had a change of heart and rallied His army to pursue the Hebrews.
Exodus 14:9-18 ESV
“The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea… When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD.”
This is what most people do when they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place: cry out to God! Christian or not, when things look impossible there is only one Person to turn to – and hopefully He’ll sort things out. Then the people turned to their leader (Moses) and started moaning to him:
“They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
These Hebrews would rather have lived as slaves than died free. After seventeen generations of bondage, “God’s chosen people” (although suffering) must have been so familiar with their condition that it was difficult to imagine anything else, and they probably had a lot of fear at the thought of embracing change. Their fathers, and their fathers, fathers and their fathers, fathers, fathers were all slaves. They had adapted to this way of life, and learned to be slaves. Children were born into slavery, raised as slaves and knew little else. They were suffering, but they didn’t know any better. Bondage was what they knew. They were comfortable in it.
Often when you’ve been sick for an extended period of time, you learn to manage the condition. It becomes so much a part of you that even when you hear an altar-call for healing you don’t respond, because you either forgot you were sick (because you’re so familiar with it) or it’s no big deal, so you won’t bother anyone with it. Some people feel that it’s not worth receiving prayer for healing unless it’s a life-threatening illness (like cancer).But Jesus didn’t discriminate against small sicknesses. The Word says “He bore our sickness and carried our diseases.” This does not exclude small things like colds, allergies or headaches. He took it all.
Sickness is limited death. Its purpose is to steal life, money and energy from you. Sickness is destructive in nature and will not produce anything good in you. It’s a work of the devil to make your life miserable and keep you from fulfilling your purpose. God hates sickness so much that He paid a massive price through Jesus’ beating and crucifixion so that you could enjoy health. If you see sickness the way God sees it, then you won’t be complacent and passive with even a slight headache. If I found a snake in my house I would kill it. I wouldn’t care if it was small. How do I know if it’s harmless or not? A snake is a snake.
But let’s get back to our story in Exodus. The people have cried out to God and they have moaned at Moses. Now, Moses turns to the people with some encouragement:
“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.”
This seems to be a typical word of encouragement for anyone in a tight situation: “Fear not, stand firm… the Lord will fight for you… you only have to be silent.” And I agree that in a crisis you need to “fear not” and “stand firm”. But the rest of that verse isn’t very good advice. I believe that it will actually cause passivity, which could kill you. Good Bible interpretation would ask the question, “Who is speaking?” The answer is: Moses. Did God say that to the people? No, Moses did. Let’s read the next part of the verse:
“The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me?”
Looking at what God says to Moses, we can be sure that what Moses encouraged the people with was not what God would have said. God continued:
“Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.”
Here’s the truth which we need to take from this: We cannot ask God to do what He’s given us authority to do. God had given Moses the charge to lead the people out of bondage into the Promise Land. He never ever said to lead them into the Wilderness to be killed by their former oppressors. God tells Moses that he must tell the people to go forward, lift up his staff (a symbol of authority) and stretch it over the sea (which was in front of them and preventing them from moving forward) and God tells Moses to divide the sea so that the people may “go through on dry ground”. God doesn’t say, “Ask Me to divide the waters”. He tells Moses, “I’ve given you authority. Use it. That power and authority is enough for you to deal with the problem you’re facing.”
Are you waiting for God to deliver you from the challenge you’re facing? The truth is that you have been delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13). Are you crying out to God and telling Him how big your problem is? The truth is that He has given you authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19) and has given you authority to speak to mountains (problems) and command them to move (Mark 11:23).
God has given you the authority to deal with your problems. He is with you and in you. You have everything you need. Don’t allow fear or passivity to hold you in bondage. Rise up and be who you are: an overcomer! (1 John 5:4)
SAY IT OUT ALOUD: I will not become familiar with any sickness. I am not happy to manage sickness in my life – it cannot stay in me. Thank You, Father, that I am not weak and powerless. Thank You for the authority that you have given me over all the power of the devil, including sickness. By the authority of Jesus, I command every demon attacking me to GO. In the Name of Jesus, I command every sickness and disease trying to destroy me to GO. I command recovery over my body. I speak life and health and peace. Jesus bore my sickness so that I do not have to. By His wounds I am healed! Greater is Jesus in me, than anything in this world! Amen!