In the Hand of God
Moses answered the people, “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
Standing still. It seems like such a passive direction, and yet it is anything but passive. In fact it may quite possibly be the hardest thing to do. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God instructed the Children of Israel as follows, " You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” What an odd battle strategy. To be instructed to go into the battlefield not to fight, but to merely stand still. One would think that it would make more sense to be given a command to take up your weapon, to put on your armor, and yet the command is to stand still. Having read and studied Ephesians 6, I would think that it is assumed that you enter the battlefield fully dressed in the armor of God. I feel that it is an unspoken assumption that any time we are awaiting commands for the battle, that we are already fully dressed in all our armor and that our weapons and shield are in place merely awaiting the call from the Commander of the army. But even in full armor complete with a sword and a shield, these instructions seem out of place.
Standing still. To stand requires the body to work together in order to have all its parts united in the effort to keep it upright and maintaining its balanced weight to hold the position. To stand takes work and is not passive as sitting or lying down would be. There is nothing passive about the command to stand. To be still on a battlefield is everything but passive as well. The normal response to impending battle would be to seek shelter, to hide, to defend oneself with weapons. But the command is to remain still. To simply wait and take no action to protect oneself. Standing still is difficult and goes against what we want in order to make ourselves feel more relaxed and secure.
I had a dream once. I was alone in a large field with only tall grass around me with the exception of a two story barn up ahead. The barn's second floor had a door that was open revealing what appeared to be an empty hayloft. As I walked along taking in the sights of the beautiful grassy field moving in the direction of the barn, I was suddenly hit with an arrow in my left shoulder. Shocked, I reached to pull the arrow loose from where it was lodged and as I did I was hit with another arrow in my chest. More and more arrows seemed to come at me first from the direction of the barn, and then from all directions. I was bloody and in pain and wanted so much to lay down in the grass, hoping that if I did so that the arrows would stop. Suddenly there was an angel standing beside me instructing me to stay standing and to be still. As more and more arrows struck me all over my body, I began to beg the angel to let me lay down. He told me no, that I must stand and I must be still. It seemed like the arrows continued to come more quickly and with more force, and I soon found that I could no longer keep them pulled out as fast as they were hitting me. Most of them stayed in my skin. Blood covered every inch of my body and the pain was almost unbearable. My legs quivered, weak, begging to rest. Finally reinforcements appeared and the angel told me that I could lay down. I was so exhausted, nor from fighting, but from standing still.
Exodus 14:13-14 commands us to not be afraid, to stand firm, and to see what God will do. What will God do? He will fight for us. There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about how God will fight for us, how He will help us, how He will bring us through. It is amazing that God Himself cares about us so much that He tells us just to concentrate on standing and being still, and He will do the rest. In Ephesians 6, when Paul is describing the individual pieces to our spiritual armor, he states in verse 13 to "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." He asks us to be fully clothed in the armor that He provides, to be ready to walk onto the battlefield, and then to stand still and watch our Daddy do the rest. How empowering it is to a girl who isn't a great fighter, who sometimes finds her armor too heavy to wear, much less fight in. What amazing grace to know that your Heavenly Daddy merely wants you to be willing to fight, and He promises that if you show up ready and willing that He will fight for you. It doesn't matter that you are smaller than your opponent, that you don't understand the rules of engagement, or that you aren't a great fighter. It only matters to Him that you show up wearing what He has provided you, and then He smiles, tells you to stand still, and He destroys the enemy for you.