Original photo by Schick
Daily Reformation, Exodus 14:10-15
From the Reformer
If for one day, or more, or even for a month, or a year, the cloud stood still, the people was, as it were, tied to the spot. The old interpreter has not badly rendered it, “The children of Israel were upon the watch;” since day and night they anxiously expected the time when God would command them to move forward. The last verse of the chapter confirms this sense, where it is again added, that “they kept the charge of the Lord at His mouth by the hand of Moses:” whence it appears that Moses was God’s interpreter, so that they might set forth on their march whenever the cloud being lifted up pointed out to them the way. Nor can it be doubted but that it preceded them; so that they might know in what direction God would have them proceed, and whither they were to go. Moreover, it must be observed that in both respects it is counted worthy of praise in the people, that they should either journey, or continue where they were, at God’s command. Thus is that absurd activity condemned which engages itself in endless work; as if men could only obey God by turmoil. Whereas it is sometimes no less a virtue to rest, when it so pleases God.
—John Calvin, Commentary on the Four Last Books of Moses
Pulling It Together
“That’s crazy! March into the sea? Yeah! Right! That’ll show those Egyptians.”
Sometimes common sense must yield to God’s seemingly crazy will. Just when we think the will of the only wise God cannot seem any wilder, walking into water becomes walking on water. Sometimes he calls you to rest in the boat; sometimes he bids you walk on the water. Sometimes you must sit tight in the desert; other times he will have you walk through the Red Sea.
One is with God whether resting or moving, so long as God has said rest or move. If he says stay awhile, then be still. But when God says to move forward, do not remain in your tent. God has moved on. Are you keeping pace?
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers