February 3, 2014 by Beth Hess
Fight. Attack. Stand your ground. Throw a swing or two. Defend yourself. Don’t back down. Like the lion in The Wizard of Oz, “let me at ’em!”
Flight. Run away. Avoid conflict. Tuck your tail. Hide. Abandon hope.
It’s a natural assessment of a situation. Can I take on this threat, or do I need to get away? But what works for predators surprised by prey, leaves me weary in the real world. Which is more exhausting — fighting back or running for the hills? It’s hard to answer while gasping for air.
Scripture gives us a third choice. Defer.
As the Egyptians chased the Israelites into the desert, things began to look grim. The recently freed slaves began to complain. They knew they couldn’t fight against trained warriors. At the edge of The Red Sea, there was nowhere to run. Game over.
But Moses tells them to do the unthinkable. Don’t attack. Don’t flee. “Just stay calm.” Why? Because “The Lord Himself will fight for you.” And God did the impossible. He split the sea in two and made a way through. While the Israelites did nothing.
No fight. No flight. Defer.
So as I focus on Exodus 14:14 as my Word of the Week, my mission is to let God take the lead. Stop setting a battle plan when I hear the war drums coming over the hill. Stop looking for an escape plan when defeat seems sure. Just stay calm.
And have a front-row seat to what God Himself will do.