12/28/18 Yahweh the Warrior

READING: Exodus 14:13-14, 23-25

“Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt!”

Exodus 14:25

We so urgently need one of the truths of today’s reading that I’m repeating this devotion from 2016: in all our battles, God is the Warrior who fights for us. Indeed, He sometimes intentionally leads us into battles we cannot win so He can be our warrior — and He alone will get the glory among the nations. 

See these truths clearly in the words of Moses as the Hebrews stood on the brink of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army pursuing them: “But Moses said to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet’” (Exo. 14:13-14). 

The plan seems strange, actually. The people of God were to stand firmly, remain quiet, and let the Lord fight for them. They were to trust that the God who led them from Egypt would continue to lead them — with an army behind them and a sea still in front of them. 

Here’s what catches my attention. God divided the sea, led His people across, and then collapsed the drowning waters on the pursuing army. When the Lord threw the Egyptians into chaos, their words revealed that they were learning about the power of the Hebrew God over against their own perceived gods: “He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty. “Let’s get away from Israel,” the Egyptians said, “because Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt!” (Exo. 14:25). 

So, the pattern looks like this — God led His people to an impossible place. He fought for them. The Egyptians saw His power.  God got the glory. His people then sang His praises: “The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name” (Exo. 15:3). The nations learned of God’s glory because He led His people into a battle He had to fight for them. 

Our problem is that we fight our own battles first and turn to God only when we have to. Whenever God is our fallback position rather than our first option, we’ve already lost the battle.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Make sure your first response in spiritual battle is to turn to God rather than to your own options.
  • Ask God to lead you to the place where He alone must be your warrior. That’s scary, I know, but He will get the glory. 

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You that You are the divine warrior. Forgive me when I fight my own battles before turning to You.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Luke 24