Devotional, Exodus, Old Testament

A Time to Pray, a Time to Act (Exodus 14:15-20 Devotional)

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 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. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night.

Exodus 14:15-20

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.  Lift up your staff..’”

Exodus 14:15

Before the people, Moses was full of faith; before God, he cried out in desperate prayer.  Praying to God for help is the right thing and should be the first thing to do.  But there is a time to pray, and a time to act.  This was a time for action.  Throughout the Bible, we see many examples of prayers being answered by first requiring the person making the petition to take an initial step of faith. 

  • Noah following God’s instruction to build the ark and saved his family from the great flood;
  • Joshua following God’s commands and marching around Jericho for the wall to collapse;
  • The servant pouring water in the jar to the brim before Jesus turning that water into wine;
  • Andrew bringing the little boy who offered his five loaves and two fish to Jesus before He multiplying the food to feed the five thousand.

The list goes on…

And now, God instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel to go forward.  But “going forward” also meant taking the risk of being swept by the Red Sea.  God also instructed Moses to lift his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it.  Moses had seen miracles God performed through his staff, but parting the sea with it and giving enough time for the entire family of Israel to walk across without getting wet?  Taking that step forward and lifting that staff and stretching out his hand all required great daring faith from Moses, and the people of Israel. That faith did not grow overnight. It took all of the previous 13 chapters of Exodus to build.  

Oftentimes when we pray for something to happen,  God also requires us to do our part.  If there are some prayers that God has not answered yet, perhaps He is waiting for us to take that initial step of faith?  God does not need our help.  He has the absolute power to make anything happen instantly. It’s humbling to see how the Almighty is willing to spend time on me and patiently waits for me to finally get up and do my part.  If there are some prayers yet to be answered, humbly take those to the Lord and ask Him to show us if there is something that we ought to do also, and ask for the strength and faith to take that step forward.  God can turn water into wine, but only the servant who poured the water into the jar knew where that premium wine was from. God can part the Red Sea, but only the one who was daring enough to lift his staff and step forward could truly experience the power and grace behind that miracle.  

Let’s all do our parts today – pray and take our action. Move forward in daring faith for the greater journey ahead. Let’s do it!

Dear Lord, you are the Almighty. In You, everything is possible! Give me that daring faith to ask and act according to your will and the power you have enriched in me today. I am small, but You are BIG. You can do way more than I can imagine. It’s not about how much I can do, but it’s about how much You, the Great Almighty will accomplish. Show me when it is the right time for me to act. And when that time time comes, help me not to hold back, but give me that strength and faith to step out as I should.

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