In the account of the crossing of the Red Sea in the Exodus of the Israelites, we can learn some important things about God and His people. As the Egyptians were in hot pursuit and the Israelites‘ fears are growing, God said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15). Moses was then to lift up his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea, and it would be divided (Exodus 14:16). When Moses did this, Exodus 14:21 records that “the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.”
Here is the important thing for us to remember concerning God and concerning His people: God‘s commands require only an affirmative response to be effective. The means of success are always provided by God. It was the responsibility of the people to go forward, and it was God‘s part to divide the sea.
It took faith for the Israelites to go up to the sea believing that God would do His part. There is a great lesson in that account for us, as well. God has asked us to ―go forward with true faith. But are we really doing so?
In Mark 16:15, the command of Jesus for His followers is to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We are asked to ―go forward and teach lost souls. How many times do we refuse to do our part because we don‘t think God will do His part? We may justify to ourselves, ―Oh, no one will ever be saved, so it will do no good for me to evangelize. All God has asked us to do is ―go forward, preach and teach; He is the one who will give the increase (1 Cor. 3:6).
In Hebrews 6:1, Christians are reminded to leave the elementary principles of Christ and “go on to perfection.” In other words, we are to ―go forward in the maturing of our faith and holy practice before God (2 Peter 3:18). How many times do we justify sin in our lives with such weak faith that we never even give God an opportunity to deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:18; 2 Timothy 4:18)? If we will make an effort at purer lives, and put our faith in God, He will see to it that it will happen.
It takes faith to go forward. Abraham was asked to ―go out‖ to a place never before seen by him. He did so, trusting that God would provide, and He did (Hebrews 11:8). Christians, we are asked to ― go forward. We are to go forward and preach and teach, and we are to go forward and live better, more righteous lives. If we do this with complete faith and trust in God, He will use His mighty powers to do marvelous things. Let‘s all resolve to set our fears aside, have greater faith in God, and “GO FORWARD!”
Edd Sterchi, Broadway church of Christ, Campbellsville, KY