man with questioning face February 6 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Exodus 13:17- 15:27

Why Should We Trust God?

This is a question that many people have. Trust comes from knowledge and experience. People have to demonstrate worthiness before they can be trusted. Is God any different?

The Israelites had been enslaved by the Egyptians for 430 years. Other than old stories passed down from parents, grandparents, and elders, they had no experience with God. Then a fellow named Moses comes out of the desert of Midian and tells them that God, the ever present and eternal “I am” has seen their suffering and will deliver them. That gave them some encouragement, but then their sufferings increased when Moses made Pharaoh angry. Through ten miraculous plagues, however, God does deliver them; the Israelites plunder the Egyptians and march out of Egypt boldly by God’s mighty hand.

When the Israelites left Goshen and Rameses in Egypt they probably believed their trials were ended. Then, Pharaoh and his army pursued them to take them back and have their services. Now what would they do? The Egyptian army was behind them and the Red Sea was in front of them. They were trapped!

Why did God allow the Egyptians to follow them? First, God showed the Egyptians one more time that He is the LORD. Second, up to this point the Israelites did not personally express their belief and confidence in the LORD who delivered them. They needed to see that God was not only their deliverer but also their shield and defender (Exodus 14:1-4; 14:13).

The people were trembling in fear. Moses answered them,

Do not be afraid. 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, (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV).

God shielded them from the Egyptians all night with a cloud of darkness. Then God told Moses to stretch out his rod over the waters, and they parted. God opened a wide path through the Red Sea for the Israelites to escape on dry ground. When the Egyptian army tried to follow, the water came back upon them and the soldiers drowned. Are we trapped by our circumstances? We need to rely totally on the LORD; we need to be still and watch for the salvation of the LORD. Let's not panic, get angry, curse God, blame others, quit acting in faith, surrender, deliver ourselves in ways he does not direct, or commit suicide. Let's stay faithful and wait expectantly on God to do something. God is our shield and defender. Then when God does make a way for us, we will be like Moses’ sister, Miriam - we will rejoice with singing.

God is not only our deliverer, shield and defender; he is also our provider. Shortly after the deliverance from Pharaoh’s army, the Israelites traveled into the desert wilderness of Shur, where there was little water. How would all their masses of people and cattle be fed? Did God deliver them just to kill them in the desert? Then, when they did find waters at Marah, they were bitter and undrinkable. When the people complained, God told Moses to cast a piece of wood into the waters and they became sweet. Then God gave the Israelites a promise using this demonstration.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26, NIV)

When Israel obeyed the LORD, she saw he was faithful and she came to know him by experience. God could be trusted. There was no foe which could defeat her, and God was able to provide for her needs, even in the desert.

Lessons to live by:

  • Is God your shield and deliverer? He can be. He is a shield and deliverer for all those who trust in him (more...).
  • We should trust God because he is not only our deliverer from the bondage of sin; he is also our shield, defender and provider. He is worthy of our trust.
  • Those who are faithful and obedient to God come to know him by experience, and they rejoice!

Today’s Bible Memory Verse:

Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.” (NIV)

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