The first real signal that Moses was in charge of the Israelites came when God parted the Red Sea. Obviously, there were all of the plagues in Israel before that that Moses was intimately involved in and had knowledge of, but I would argue that parting the Red Sea really demonstrated that God was with Moses and wanted him to lead the people.
In Joshua chapter three, a very similar event takes place. God told Joshua said that he would let the people of Israel know he was still with them and particularly with Joshua.
Jos 3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
God’s plan involves parting the Jordan River this time.
Jos 3:14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
Jos 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)
Jos 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.
Jos 3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
I think that we all need this type of reminder every now and then even though we probably shouldn’t. Sometimes, our faith can be shaken, and we need assurance that God is still with us and has not forgotten us.
Now, in my life, I have never had a river simply open up in front of me. I think that would be really awesome, and I kind of hope that does happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.
However, I think that God can also work in much more subtle ways. Sometimes, all it takes is a Bible verse that we find when we randomly open our Bibles that speaks directly to our situation. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people provide similar experiences, and it reminds me that God has a purpose. It wasn’t random for Him.
Miracles happen every day, and sometimes we don’t notice them because of our perspective. We need to be aware and understand all that God can and wants to do for us.
When you really think about it, the events in Exodus chapter 14 must have taken a lot of bravery. After all, the people of Israel were being pursued by the people of Egypt, and they must have felt like they had their backs against the wall.
On one side, they had an army of 600 chariots following them and the Red Sea in front of them. The people became pretty upset at Moses for leading them to almost certain doom.
Exo 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
While slavery must have been awful, the people of Israel were willing to say that they would rather go back then be slaughtered in the wilderness.
However, God knew that He had something much better in store for them if they would only keep the faith. He told Moses that if he lifted up his staff, the Red Sea would divide and the people could safely cross on dry land. It must have seemed impossible, but it happened.
I think that happens to all of us at times. We end up in situations where it seems like there are two equally unpleasant yet inevitable alternatives. It is kind of like the old cliché that talks about going out of the frying pan and into the fire. Neither one is pleasant, but one or the other will happen.
When we see all of this uncertainty and perhaps terror, God sees an opportunity. He can do a lot of things that we could never even fathom. Our obstacles are not a problem for God. He can make things happen in our lives to help us when we end up in these situations. Think about Psalm 23.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Both of those images should be comforting. After all, we can go to the most terrifying place on earth and we do not need to fear because God is with us. Not only that, but even when all of our enemies are around, God will prepare a table before us.
Remember this type of thing when you end up in a less than desirable situation. Even if it seems like there’s no escape, God is always with us, and it is better to have Him with us in the absolute worst of times than to have anyone else with us even in the best of times.