Posted by: Joe Palmer | March 31, 2010

Faith or Fear


Faith or Fear?

By Joe Palmer

It is amazing how we can trust God in the mountain top experiences of our life, when things are going our way, while the blessing are flowing. When a little trouble comes we begin to fear, and our faith faints. Can fear and faith reside in the same heart? Perhaps, but our true character is not shown when we rejoice in the victory, but when we follow God in our moments of fear.

The article below is all text. It consists of the song of Moses and the people after God defeated Pharaoh’s army in the Sea, interspersed with their rebellious words in the days and weeks to follow.

I’d hope you will read it and comment on how it makes you feel about your own relationship with God.

• Ex 15:1-18 (ESV) in Italics.   Other Scriptures interspersed.

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

2 The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;

this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

3 The Lord is a man of war;
the Lord is his name.

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Ex 16:2-3 (ESV)

4 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea,
and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.

5 The floods covered them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.

6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.

8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.

Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3 But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Ex 17:2-3 (ESV)

9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’

10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

12 You stretched out your right hand;
the earth swallowed them.

13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Num 11:4-6 (ESV)

14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.

15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.

Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” Num 13:31-33 (ESV)

16 Terror and dread fall upon them;
because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone,
till your people, O Lord, pass by,
till the people pass by whom you have purchased.

17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.

18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”

And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Num 14:2-4 (ESV)

Joe Palmer

801 E John Sims Parkway

Niceville Florida

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