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Stand Still

Exodus 14:10-14

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.” You may find yourself at a time in your life where all you can do, is just be still and know that GOD IS GOD! Your situation may seem hopeless, and you may feel overwhelmed and alone. And at times whatever you are facing cannot be helped by mortal man. Even with loving and caring friends and family you still feel all alone. It is in these times that God comes on the scene and does what no one else can.

“The Isaacs” have a song that describes this fact beautifully:

The Father has a plan, though it's hard to see it now.
You feel you're walking all alone, but he is there no doubt.
When the storm around you rages, and you're tossed to and fro
When you're faced with life's decisions, not sure which way to go

Stand still and let God move, standing still is hard to do.
When you feel you have reached the end,
he'll make a way for you
Stand still and let God move.

In these times where we “stand still” we will see God move in mighty ways. A friend of mine told me that “God has to be experienced because he cannot be explained” I want us to look at God’s performance in the life of the Children of Israel and preach on the thought “Stand Still”.  

As we arrive at our selected text, At this point in history, the Children of Israel have been released from the strong hand of Pharaoh. God has delivered them from 400 years of slavery and oppression in Egypt. They had begun a new journey of hope and great expectation. But after traveling for a while they find themselves in a discouraging situation.

In front of them is the great Red Sea
To the left is a mountain
To the right, another mountain
Behind them are Pharaoh & the Egyptian army.

Not only are their enemies behind them, they are approaching fast. On the surface, they are TRAPPED. They find themselves in a situation that seems hopeless. As a result they go to Moses and cry out to him… venting their frustrations so to speak. Moses responds in a way they never could have expected. With the enemy approaching and the “walls closing in” Moses tells them to “Stand Still”

Look with me to verse 13 - Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you... Let’s be honest, if we were in there situation and Moses was telling us to just “Stand Still” we would probably be a bit concerned. Why? Because we often forget who we serve! So, what can you do when you are facing a hopeless situation?

How do you respond when you are struggling with:
    A rebellious child
    A sick relative
    A terminal diagnosis
    A financial hardship that only seems to get worse
    A marriage that is bound for divorce
    And many other issues that I may have failed to mention.

What do you do …what is the proper response? I submit to you that your only option may simply be to “stand still” I would like to see 4 occasions when you may find that God wants you to “Stand Still” The first occasion I would like to examine is:

When Trouble Approaches, Stand Still!
Vs. 10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them;

The Children of Israel knew the enemy well. They knew his strength and power. They also grasped the gravity of their situation. They were surrounded. They couldn’t go forward, backward or to either side. They were unarmed and had no logical chance of defending themselves against this army of Egyptians. They were at a place where they could only look up and that is where they would find their deliverance.

Your Troubles May Be Intimidating - “Pharaoh drew nigh”

Exodus 14:5-6 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him. The Pharaoh (Egyptian King) had all of the people and equipment at his disposal. He had been responsible for their bondage in the past. They knew this enemy well and knew what it would mean to be captured. The troubles that you face may not be new to you. You may have faced them before. Sometimes just the thought of having to re-fight a past battle may bring discouragement to your life. Whatever your trouble it may be intimidating. But these troubles may also be intense.

Your Troubles May Be Intense
Vs. 10 children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them

When Israel saw their troubles coming toward them, what did they see? Look with me to – Vs. 7-9 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea... Sometimes when trouble comes it just keeps coming! When you think you have seen it all, more comes and you don’t know what to do. You know the old cliché “when you think things can’t get any worse …they do” That is where Israel was and it may be where you are today. Your troubles may be intimidating and intense and you just don’t know what to do! You may be at a point where the answer is to “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”

When we see troubles coming over the hill and it seems that we have no hope and nowhere to run then we will experience fear in our hearts and lives. There is an answer for that fear:

When Fears Appear, Stand Still!  
Vs. 10 and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.

We are told that the Children of Israel were “sore afraid” this means that they were exceedingly terrified. One definition reads “frightened out of one's wits” They did not know if they were going to be delivered. Let’s be honest, the odds didn’t look to good! They were thinking that they would be: Captured, Enslaved or killed. So here you are, in the same situation the Children of Israel were in.

There is trouble:
On the left
On the right
In front of you
Behind you

You are gripped with fear, the circumstance you are facing may change your life forever. Some things may go back to “normal” and some may not. You don’t know where to go from here. Your heart, your mind …your life is consumed with the fear of the unknown. What can you do?? …“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” You say “Preacher, that sounds all well and good but troubles are coming, and I am consumed with fear, and I doubt that the Lord will hear or respond to me?” Well Friend:

When Doubts Arise, Stand Still!
Vs. 11-12 And they said unto Moses, because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

The fear we just examined, there it is! - …Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? The discouragement, fear and frustration reaches a boiling point and they begin to question Moses as to his motives. They then profess that they would have been better if they had just remained in bondage. Maybe you are facing a situation that may change your life forever. Some of you have endured troubles that have already changed your life forever.

I am talking about things that did not go the way you wanted them to.

Some of you have lost spouses
Some have buried children
Some have been diagnosed with terminal illness
Some have families who are facing unimaginable difficulties as we speak.

You are in a valley that you don’t know if you will ever come out of. And if you are honest you doubt the Lord. Maybe some will be honest enough to admit that you not only doubt the lord, you blame him for what you are enduring. You are hurting and you just want to know what to do… Friend, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”

At this point there has been no physical harm to the Children of Israel. The troubles that approached, the fear that appeared and the doubt that arose all came as a result of what they saw coming. Things are about to intensify. The enemy is getting closer and ready to launch their assault.

Friend, you may see trouble coming, you may possess fear, the fear may bring doubt and even then things MAY GET WORSE! I want you to see in verse 13-14:

When Enemies Attack, Stand Still!  

Vs. 13-14 And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

I want you to see something very interesting about this situation. The Lord directed Moses to take the Children of Israel to this place where they are now surrounded. Exodus 14:1-2 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon before it shall ye encamp by the sea. So, the Lord has placed his people in this dangerous situation. It is not because he wants them to be harmed …but because HE HAS A PLAN! Everything that we read in this chapter was orchestrated by the father. Guess what, the trouble or trial that you are in the midst of, God knows you are there …in fact HE PUT YOU THERE! Why? BECAUSE HE HAS A PLAN THAT WILL BRING HIM GLORY!!! Things may get much worse for you before they get better. You may be surrounded, what can you do? “STAND STILL AND WATCH FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD” You can’t escape the trouble because you are surrounded. You can’t defeat the enemy because you are outnumbered and overpowered. When you can’t go to the left, right, forwards or backwards the only thing you can do is LOOK UP!! David said in Psalms 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Stand Still & LOOK UP!!

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom so you can find that Jesus is the rock at the bottom!

Here we are… SHOWTIME!!!! The enemies are pursuing, things look bleak and dim and hopeless. I want to show you through God’s Word how God’s CHILREN CAN FACE UNBEATABLE ODDS AND DO SO BY SIMPLY STANDING STILL:

God told Moses to take his staff and raise his hand over the Red Sea. The water would divide so the Israelites could pass over. God inspired the Egyptians to charge after the Children of Israel. Then the angel of God, the pillar & the cloud that had been leading Israel moved to the rear of the camp. Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord sent a wind and opened up the water so they could pass over. Not only did they pass over, they passed on dry land! Then the Egyptians - all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers chased the Israelites into the middle of the sea.

Look to Vs. 26-28 And the LORD said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. Though they faced overwhelming odds, Israel’s direction was to “Stand Still”. What was God’s purpose in setting these events in order? I submit to you that the main reason what that the people would see his glory!

Vs. 17-18 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. This was His plan and it was accomplished – Vs. 25 … the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

Friend, when your enemies come against you… STAND STILL! God has a plan

You may be powerless but he is all powerful
You may be helpless but he is a great help in a time of need
You may be fearful but he is fearless
You may be troubled but he will be triumphant

Though you are in the midst of the storm, though you are surrounded on every side … He is telling you to “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!!”

When the enemy surrounds you, And the walls are closing in
When the tide is swiftly rising, And you wonder where he's been
friend, there never was a moment, that his arms weren't reaching out.
You can rest assured and be secure, God is moving right now.

Stand still and let God move, Standing still is hard to do
When you feel you have reached the end,
He'll make a way for you
Stand still and let God move

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