But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today . . . ”  Exodus 14:13-14

 

“Leap, and the net will appear.”  Natalie Teager, from television show, Monk

One of my favorite television shows is Monk on the USA network.  Adrian Monk is an obsessive-compulsive private detective, living in fear of hundreds of things, including ladders and milk.  In one episode, his assistant, Natalie Teager, tries to convince Monk that taking a calculated risk of opening an office and advertising his services will set off a chain of events that ultimately will improve his life.  “Leap, and the net will appear,”  Natalie tells her boss.

Monk from USA Network

Monk from USA Network

That’s a motivational line that Moses might have wanted to offer the Israelites who were literally trapped “by the devil and the deep blue sea” in Exodus 14.  The Red Sea in front of them, an army of angry Egyptians behind them, the Israelites scream at Moses: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you  have taken us away to die in the wilderness?  What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt?  Didn’t we tell you, `Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14:11-12).

How often do we wallow in self-pity over seemingly impossible circumstances?  We complain about a dead end job, but take no steps that might lead to a new one.  We moan that no one attends church, but we don’t invite potential members to join us.  We blame the government for our problems, but don’t take the time to educate ourselves about the issues. (Sorry–I just saw the movie “Swing Vote” over the weekend, and am re-outraged by the lack of participation of citizens in our political process.)

God told Moses and the Israelites to quit complaining and act:  “Then the Lord said to Moses, `Why do you cry out to me?  Tell the Israelites to go forward.’ (v. 15)”.  It’s not enough to pray about our problems.  God expect us to pray–and then God expects us to act on the direction he gives us.

In Romans, Paul writes, “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear . . .” .  Just like the Israelites, God still wants us to “not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance the Lord will accomplish for you today.”

Leap . . . and the net will appear!

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