Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lord, My Back’s Up Against the Wall (the Sea)!!!

"He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me." 
[Psalm 55:18]

(Written May 2009, but still relevant)

In these current times, the dismal and deficient state of America’s economy, has affected the livelihood of almost every American citizen in some shape, form, or fashion. Numerous fellow American’s are facing unemployment, foreclosure, repossessions, bankruptcy, homelessness, divorce and untimely death (the latter two both being unfortunate bi-products of these financial strains and losses), and other tragic circumstances, like never before. And even more unfortunate, it is a time when it is not uncommon for some individuals to be experiencing a myriad of these ill-situations, all at once. 

If one could figuratively portray the affects that these circumstances have on an individual, it could be compared to someone feeling that his/her back is up against the wall of life with no means of escape. Or it could even be compared to a small army of 300 or so headed out to war against their adversary, looking up to view a fierce militia of 300,000 marching towards them. I have personally experienced some of these feelings of being trapped and hopeless, as I am sure others have as well.

Let me paint a common scene for you: 

...the phone rings off the hook each day from 800 extensions, of creditors and collectors of unpaid balances and late payments due...

...the mailbox is daily filled with intimidating letters and final notices threatening credit reporting, repossessions, and at worse, foreclosure... 

...the knocks on your front door from the mailman awaiting your signature for the certified letter that brings “great tidings” of lawsuits, divorce filings or more...

...the thick, knife-cutting stress and tension between two spouses as a result of the financial strain on the household...

...the bank/ investment institution statements that show the money your investments have lost or the near-empty account balances…

I could continue to paint this American portrait, but are you relating already? The weight of the world feels like it is on your shoulders. You feel defeated even when you’re giving it your best because it seems that “little you” does not have the ability to overcome all of the stressful circumstances that are up against you. This is your moment of feeling “up against a wall”: your troubles, debts, and responsibilities outnumber and outweigh your human capabilities. And then you wonder, “Where are you, God? Did you actually bring me this far to leave me ‘here’, up against this wall?” 

With this despair, I am reminded of another group of people who shared in common ill-circumstances that brought on fear, anxiety, and feeling of hopelessness, however, they were not Americans, not of our time, and did not actually have their “backs up against” a figurative wall. No, it was the Israelites, who had just been freed from slavery, and more dramatically and literally had their backs up against the Red Sea. Much in the way we are currently being pursued daily by creditors, banks, lawyers, and bad news, so the Israelites were being pursued by Pharaoh’s horses, horseman, and chariots, while they were on foot. Compared to their party of roughly 600,000 “men” on foot, Pharaoh’s army pursued them with anger and a vengeance, and the speed of horses and chariots to accompany them. And as we are feeling now in our circumstances, when the Israelites realized that their backs where against the Red Sea and the Egyptians were forging towards them, they instinctively felt trapped and afraid, and cried out to the Lord. The sight of the enemy heading towards them at full speed, led their imagination to thoughts of their soon coming deaths. Some were even baffled to wonder why their God would go so far as to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt, just to let them be recaptured or die. They complained to Moses, "Why did you bring us to the desert to die? Weren't there any graves in Egypt? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? We told you in Egypt 'Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians.' It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert!" 

But, PRAISE BE TO GOD, “the angel of God had been traveling in front of Israel's army” and “he moved back and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved away from in front of them. Now it stood behind them. It came between the armies of Egypt and Israel.” This pillar of cloud served as a protection for the Israelites against their enemy. And then the MIRACULOUS happened when “Moses reached his hand out over the Red Sea. All that night the Lord pushed the sea back with a strong east wind. He turned the sea into dry land. The waters were parted. The people of Israel went through the sea on dry ground.” 

God saved His people who had been seemingly backed up against the sea, overwhelmed, and hopeless with their circumstances, JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME! And not only was He so awesome to part the sea for them, He went so far that He even sent the enemy into the dry path to pursue the Israelites and then allowed “the water (to) flow back and cover the chariots and horsemen. It covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the people of Israel into the sea. Not one of the Egyptians was left.” The Lord did not just deliver them from the enemy and forces against them, HE ABSOLUTELY ELIMINATED THE ENEMY! 

With that said, I am so very happy that our “God is no respecter of persons” and He does not show favoritism, so what He does for one, He will do for another. Even more relieving is that because He is the same today, yesterday, and forever, He can and will deliver us from “the sea” that our backs are up against and “the army” that is pursuing us from the front, in these current times. He wants us to know that “He ransoms (us) and keeps (us) safe from the battle waged against (us), though many still oppose (us)”. So as we look at the pile up of mail, press the answering machine to hear the numerous messages, go on-line to check our bank balances, and feel like is it all too much for us to humanly handle, remember as Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” 

Praise be to God who gives us victory through Jesus Christ! 

Be Blessed!

Further Reading: Exodus 14, Acts 10:34

Mad Luv~ Teri 

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