Be Still | Exodus 14

Welcome to Real Life. What enemy are you facing?

Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
–Rev. John Watson

There is a time to be still—to stop trying, striving, doing, working, fighting—and just be still before God. There is a time to rest in him, knowing the battle we face is beyond us. We are not big enough, strong enough, smart enough, or holy enough to win the victory. But we know the One who is enough.

For four hundred years, the nation of Israel suffered as slaves in Egypt. They cried out to God. He heard. He answered. He sent Moses to deliver them. Ten plagues later, Pharaoh finally relented and set God’s people free. But the Israelites had barely begun their journey home when Pharaoh and his officials reneged. What have we done? We lost our labor force! Pharaoh set out with his entire army—chariots, horses, and troops—to hunt down the Israelites and force them back into slavery.

Meanwhile, camped on the seashore, the Israelites felt a rumbling. They looked up to see a dust cloud on the horizon. The Egyptians were coming! The Children of Israel were trapped with the sea before them and the Egyptian army coming up fast behind them. They were terrified!

“Do not be afraid,” Moses tells them. “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.[1]

Be still. It’s easier said than done. We are people of action. We want to work, fight, and defend ourselves. This battle, however, was beyond Israel’s ability to win. And so, they stood still. The Angel of the Lord who had been leading them took a position behind them as a protective barricade against the enemy. Soon, however, God did call Israel to some action.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.[2] 

No doubt, it took courage and faith to step down onto that dry sea bed. This was Israel’s part. They were not to engage the enemy, however. That was God’s part.

We know the rest of the story. The nation of Israel safely traversed the sea. But when the Egyptians pursued them, the Lord caused their chariot wheels to bind up. The sea closed over them. The entire Egyptian army was swept away!

Who is our Egyptian army? What overwhelming force threatens to defeat us—health issues, broken relationships, false accusations, addiction, job loss, insurmountable debt, depression, or anxiety? There is a time to stand your ground and fight. But there is also a time to be still and rest in God. He is a mighty warrior who is able to defeat any foe.

I'm learning to be still. It's not easy. I like to be active, go, and do. But I injured my back and have been battling significant pain. This has forced me to be still and rest. Only God can fight this battle and heal my body. Though not as courageous as traversing the sea, in my stillness, God has called me to some action. He wants me to pray for others who are in pain.

With the fierce Egyptian army breathing down their necks, God commanded Israel, “Be still. I’ve got this.” The Lord fought and won the victory! What enemy is breathing down your neck? Perhaps it's time to rest and believe. The Lord will fight for you today. You need only to be still.

Father God,
For those of us facing an overwhelming enemy.
Fill us with the faith and discipline to be still before you.
Calm our fears. Stand between us and the enemy.
Please protect us. Fight for us today.
You are a Mighty Warrior!
We are trusting you to win this victory!
We pray in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

If you are facing an enemy, I would count it a privilege to pray for you. Please leave me a comment or send me a private message. 

[1] Exodus 14:13-14
[2] Exodus 14:15-16
Photo credit: iStock by kevron2001


  1. Peggi, this was encouraging to me this morning!! Thank you for writing! Praying for you


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