Monday, November 20, 2006

No Footprints

Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known
(Psalm 77:19)
The children of Israel were hard pressed against the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army bearing down on them.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation* of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of it. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exodus 14:13-18)
The path of God was in the sea, through the great waters. The waters opened for the children of Israel to pass through, and then closed behind them on all their former oppressors. No footprints were left behind.

That is very often the way God works in our lives. There are usually no footprints we can trace which lead up to the manifestation of His salvation, deliverance, or prosperity in our lives. Moses had led the children of Israel into what, in the natural, was an impossible situation. Who would have imagined what God was about to do? There were no indicators leading up to it. All Moses knew was that God was somehow going to come through for them.

Not only did God part the Red Sea for them, but notice how He did it — through Moses! “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.” God didn’t lift a finger. He simply told Moses how to exercise the authority He had already placed within Moses’ hand. But it required faith:
  • Moses had to tell the children of Israel to look begin going forward, heading directly into the Red Sea.
  • The children of Israel had to believe and obey this crazy command which went against all their senses were telling them.
  • Moses had to lift up his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it. God had already done everything He was going to do in this situation. Now it was time for Moses to act in accordance with the promise and authority of God.
When the children of Israel were safe on the other side, and their enemies were crushed beneath the waters, they could not even see the pathway by which they had crossed. There were no footprints, only the fact that they had been miraculously delivered by the power of God through the hand of Moses.

When we find ourselves in a jam, often our tendency is that we want to see exactly how we are going to get out of it. We want to know the trajectory that will lead us from our present circumstances to our deliverance. We want to see the footsteps of God leading up to it, through it and across to the other side.

But it generally does not work that way. Instead, what we receive is a word of direction. For God has already provided for what we need to solve the problem, and if we listen for His voice, He will show us how to access it. As Moses found out, the answer may already be in our hand, and all that is necessary is to respond in faith.

When you are in trouble, do not look for God’s footprints; listen for His voice.

* The Hebrew word for “salvation” is this passage is yeshuah, which is the Hebrew name for Jesus.