“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”
So, Israel has left Egypt and they’re carrying some loot. There are hundreds of thousands of them. They’re camped with the wilderness on one side and a body of water on the other. And Pharaoh has just changed his mind—again—about letting Israel leave Egypt. Israel is freaking out. Moses is trying to calm the people down and this is part of what he says to them.
Obviously, this promise was not made to me personally. I point this out, because there was another blogger who got all bent out of shape about people misquoting verses and taking promises out of context and misapplying them. Know what? Great. I should be careful not to apply promises made to Israel to myself. Like any agreement, God’s promises are valid only to the party to whom they were made. No warranties of any kind should be implied by persons not included in the promise group. Can I extrapolate a principle? Sure. The nature and character of God don’t change, so principles are worthwhile.
This morning’s principle is this: God fights for those who cannot and for those who, when He tells them to, will not.
See, Israel outnumbers the Egyptians coming against them by thousands-to-one. I mean, we’re talking 600 chariots with possibly 1 200 soldiers versus 600 000+ Israelite men, not counting women and children. Sheer numbers might be sufficient to end that battle. So it’s not that Israel cannot fight for themselves. This particular group is a bunch of whining cry-babies (as am I, rather more often than I’d like), so there is an element of “cannot fight” in that, but if we concern ourselves strictly with the numbers then Israel has good odds of killing Pharaoh. But God’s instructions in the following verses are that Israel will not fight. Fast-forward another 50 years or so and God will instruct Israel to fight, but not on this day. And God does fight for Israel. He wipes out Pharaoh and his army.
Can I expect God to fight for me? Yes. Yes, I can. See, Paul instructs believers to put on the whole armor of God and engage in spiritual warfare and to stand (not fight anymore) when we have done all that we have been instructed to do (See Ephesians 6 for details). Some might argue, “That’s great that Paul said it, but I only believe what Jesus said.” Cool. Jesus instructed His followers to turn the other cheek when someone struck them. Jesus taught pretty extensively on speaking when God gives us something to say and closing our mouths otherwise and on letting God be the one who does any fighting. I mean, Jesus tells His disciples that they’re going to be delivered up to kangaroo courts (term didn’t exist yet, but He used the ancient Greek equivalent) to be executed for crimes they didn’t commit. No mention of fighting back in there. When I read through the book of Acts, all I see is God doing any fighting that needed to be done.
So, to bring this back around. While this promise is made by Moses to the children of Israel, it is valid for the believer today — it is valid for me. There’s TONS of New Testament parallels to this promise for the believer to hang on to. So, God fights for those who cannot fight for themselves (which is often me) and for those who do not fight when He tells them to stand by and wait (which should be me far more often).
Lord God, thank You for this promise. Thank You that it has parallels in the New Testament, so I do not have to guess whether or not I can apply it to my own walk with You. Please enable me to stand silent and watch You work more often and remind me to tap into that enabling rather than allow myself to run into the fray when You wanted to resolve it another way.