As we enter this New Year, the words of Moses to Israel, "remain firm in going forward," are resonating in my heart. These words were spoken at a very critical moment when Israel was about to cave to fear, return to Egypt, and resign themselves to a life of slavery. I am convinced that these are words God would have us remember in 2023.
The Temptation to Go Back
After numerous devastating plagues, culminating in the first Passover when all the firstborn among the Egyptians died, Pharaoh urged Moses to take the Israelites and leave. After 400 years of bondage, Moses led this large company of former slaves from the land of their captivity toward the land God had promised them. However, they are not out of Egypt before the challenges begin.
They come to the Red Sea and there is no bridge; nor are there any ferry boats to carry them across. What are they going to do? In the meantime, Pharaoh decides that he has made a terrible mistake in letting these Hebrew slaves go free and he decides to go after them and bring them back.
So, as Israel looks at the Red Sea wondering how they will get across, they look back and see Pharaoh coming with his army and 600 chariots. Their emotions begin to run wild; first with fear and then with anger at Moses whom they blame for getting them into this predicament. Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us bringing us out of Egypt (Exodus 14:11)!
They Must Continue Going Forward
Moses did not react to their fear and anger. He was living and functioning from an inner core conviction and faith that transcended anything that might be happening on the outside. We too must live from the inside out in 2023. Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today. (Exodus 14:13).
The Hebrew word for “stand” in this verse is yatsab and it means “to stay” or “to remain firm.” The Hebrew word for “still” is nasah and it literally means “to start on a journey” or “to go forward.” Moses literally tells the people to “REMAIN FIRM IN GOING FORWARD.”
Moses assures them that if they will remain firm in their decision to leave Egypt for the land of promise, they will see the salvation of the LORD that very day. “Salvation” is translated from the Hebrew word yeshuwah, from which comes the name of our Messiah—Yeshua. It carries meanings of “deliverance,” “victory,” “prosperity,” and “well-being.”
In other words, if they will get past their fear and anger, and move forward in faith, they will see God intervene on their behalf. They will see His salvation—His yeshuwah.
They See His Salvation
They heeded the words of Moses and one of the greatest miracles of the Bible occurred. The Red Sea parted, and they crossed to the other side on dry ground. After they were safe on the other side, the sea rolled back and drowned Pharaoh and his army as they pursued them through the parted sea.
What a relief! They were now safe and free, completely cut off from that former life of bondage. No wonder Miriam and the women took their tambourines and began to dance before the LORD and to lead the entire company in prophetic songs of praise. When they made the decision to “remain firm in going forward,” they saw His salvation
We Too Must Remain Firm in Going Forward
We, the people of God, will face many challenges in this New Year, but we must never turn back and compromise the truths of God's word. We must never cave to the ways and manners of Egypt. We must remember the words of Moses to Israel, for as we “remain firm in going forward,” we too will see His salvation in 2023.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is a Bible teacher, revivalist, and ordained minister. He has written numerous books on revival, documenting how Great Awakenings have shaped America's character and destiny, and explaining why another such Awakening is the only hope for America. His books are available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.