“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Be Still--or Step Forward?: Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either here or at my dear friend Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Linky gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another.
This week's verse is from the book of Exodus.
Moses answered the people,  “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD  will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see  again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
Looking forward to your thoughts. Mine are below.


The children of Israel actually crossed two different bodies of water on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. And God had them approach each in a different way. And I wonder why.

Moses Red Sea Pictures, Images and PhotosAt the beginning of their journey, they had the Red Sea before them and the armies of Egypt and Pharaoh behind them. Nowhere to run. In the fourteenth chapter of Exodus, the Lord, through Moses, tells His chosen people to stand firm. "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (v. 14) And as they stood on the shore watching and standing firm, the Lord divided the sea, and they all crossed on dry land, into the desert.

But now, fast forward  a few decades. The children of Israel have been wandering in the desert for the past 40 years, and their descendants are finally getting to enter the Promised Land. This time, nobody is chasing them. Still, they have another body of water blocking them. This time, it's the Jordan River. And it's at flood stage.

So, does the Lord again ask His chosen people to be still and watch him work? Not this time. This time, he asked the priests to step into its floodwaters, carrying the ark of the covenant. Only then would the waters part to allow them through.
Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Joshua 3:15-16
Did the people have different things to learn at these two different times? Was the Lord trying to somehow differentiate between the two crossings?

All I know for sure is that God doesn't always solve the same problem in the same way. Sometimes, he wants us to be still and watch. Other times he wants us to step forward in faith. Perhaps that's why it's so important that we listen for His voice.

So, what are your thoughts on the two "water crossings?"

Thanks for reading! Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts on these verses, and read others' contributions.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence


  1. Both crossings had to do with trust. The first, I think, was to see whether the Israelites would wait for the Lord, or run. Their lives were at stake, after all.

    The second, also a matter of trust. When we take those tentative steps towards the promises God has set before us, He opens the way. Not until then.

    Can't say I know for sure, but it certainly seems so in my life.

  2. I appreciate the reminder that God does not always work the same way in similar circumstances.

    I also agree with Karlene, it is a matter or trust. Just like Moses striking the rock in the desert the second time when God had told him to strike it the first time. If we push forward in our own efforts, we will miss what God wants to do in and through us.

  3. Joanne, excellent thoughts you shared. Of course I could never fully understand the mind of God but I believe the difference in approach to similar situations keeps us being attentive to God. It would be easy for them (and us) to assume they know what to do rather seeking God for His guidance.

  4. Yes, I thought of the difference in the crossings, too. I'll have to study up on that.

  5. Oh I love your thoughts on this. I have never looked at those verses this way. They are an encouragement to me as sometimes I wonder if I should move forward in faith or be still--Thank you!

  6. My random thoughts on the two water crossings: Both were a deliverance for God's chosen people - the first from bondage and slavery, the second from wandering, wondering, and suffering. Noah, too, had a "water crossing", although of a different nature. His was a deliverance from a world lost to depravity. Our own "water crossing" - our baptism in Christ - is a deliverance from all of these things too, into the promised land of freedom from the wages of sin.


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

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