“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
Series Focus: “Piece by Piece”
At the turn of the year, I committed to a “Read the Bible in One Year” challenge. The paced walk through the pages of the Bible has stirred excitement and fueled my faith. One experience I’ve studied keeps replaying in my mind: the Great Exodus.
God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses provided a laundry list of reasons he couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be the one God used for this challenging feat. With each argument, God provided an answer to counter Moses’ resistance. One of those solutions was for Aaron to stand in the gap to speak for Moses.
Aaron willingly joined Moses to be the voice, prophet, and communicator between Moses and the people. He spoke for Moses during every confrontation with Pharoah. With each request to release the Israelites, Pharaoh consistently refused. A new plague attacked the Egyptians each time Pharoah denied the release. After each plague, another request was made.
Finally, after the tenth plague, Pharoah consented to the departure of the Israelites. However, as they departed—being led by the cloud of God by day and pillar of fire by night—Pharoah and his chariots pursued them.
As the Israelites approached the banks of the Red Sea, the Egyptian army was closing in upon them. Feeling trapped and doomed to destruction, the Israelites cried out in terror, wondering if God had led them out of Egypt only to destroy them now. Moses responded to the people:
“Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again, ever. The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14 NASB)
What happened next is nothing short of miraculous. God parted the Red Sea and instructed the Israelites to step onto the dry ground and walk across the sea floor. Moses, Aaron, and the people following them took that step from solid ground to the dry sea-bed while the walls of water encased them on both sides. The enemy pursued them and seemed to be gaining ground…until they, too, entered the parted sea.
The Israelite men, women, children, herds, and flocks walked across that dry ground—without trouble or incident. Fearful of the pursuit behind them? Sure. Victorious in reaching the other side? Absolutely! As the last one—whether man, woman, child, oxen, calf, or lamb—took that final step up from the sea-bed onto solid ground, the walls of water came crashing down upon the Egyptian chariots and soldiers.
Prior to stepping into those parted waters, the people were full of fear and desired to go back to slavery in Egypt. Upon reaching the other side, they rejoiced in song and worshiped God with elation, praising Him for His miraculous rescue.
As I meditate on this incident and study further through Leviticus and Numbers, I’m in awe at the plan and purpose of God in Aaron. Because of Moses’ insecurities, God allowed Aaron to be the spokesperson for Moses. Aaron stood in the gap between God with Moses and Moses with the people. Aaron, a Levite, was later ordained as the High Priest and entered the Holy of Holies to provide atonement for the Israelites. God also gave the Priesthood blessing, or Aaronic blessing, for Aaron to administer to the people:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord cause His face to shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His face to you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 NASB)
Aaron surely did not know the magnitude his obedience would have, not just among his people in that time, but still upon God-fearing people today. The steps he took to meet his brother, those he took in Pharaoh’s court, and the ones he took through the wilderness all led to the deliverance of his people. His steps into that dry sea-bed led to steps into the Holy of Holies—the inner sanctuary within God’s temple—providing redemption for his nation. And the blessing God gave him to proclaim over his people, we still proclaim today—from generation to generation.
What if Aaron, only knowing and seeing in part, failed to take just one of those steps?
How about you and me? Would the suffering, terror, or pressures of our people influence us to defect? Or would we, like Aaron, willingly and obediently rise to the cause? The trials of today do still rage, the battles can be tough, and the enemy is real. Jesus told us we would face struggles.
The journey ahead may look chaotic, messy, or just plain nonsensical. Regardless, I know this: God is good; He is faithful; and His ways are true. Take the next step of your journey in faith, trusting God has made the way for you. He has called each one of us to a higher purpose. Our obedience to Him won’t just bless us but will provide for those after us. May we, like Aaron, courageously step into all God has called us to, face the enemy, speak the truth, and stand in the gap for others as we declare God’s blessing over them.
What does your next step look like?
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Isaiah 41:10; Exodus 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14; Leviticus 16; Number 6:23-26; John 16:33