And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you today, and you have only to stay silent.”

Exodus 14: 13, 14

The word host has many different definitions in the English language, and it comes from several linguistic sources. Many of them refer to large groups, gatherings, or even to armies. So, the idea of being a host is formed out of opening one’s doors to a large number of people, which should be a joyous and a pleasurable activity. The concept behind an army being called a host is that its personnel are numerous to the point of overwhelming an opponent. This is the sort of host that Moses and the Israelite people were facing. Pharaoh’s chariots with their trained warriors on board were being pulled toward them by their war stallions, and the ground between them was diminishing rapidly. Fear of a horrible, painful death was natural; yet, here was their leader standing in front of them and telling them to, “Fear not!” This makes no human sense, for it defies the evidence before them as it also seems to eliminate any prospect of surrender and survival. 

In my experience, no chariots driven by angry spear tossing and arrow shooting Egyptians have come flashing toward me. Still, the experience that the Israelites were having has been mine. There are enemies, challenges, fears, and hurdles to be faced in life today that seem to be as formidable and as relentlessly unstoppable as did that Egyptian army. Although Moses was faced with a choice between the sharp end of a sword and drowning in the sea that stretched out on the other side of them, he knew that he had followed God’s will in doing what he had done and in going to this place. Still, his real confidence came from something other than his execution of God’s marching orders, and it also was found in a place outside of his own skill, strength, and wisdom. Moses knew His God well, and he was aware His faithful heart that would care for them and provide answers for them in any and in all circumstances and situations.

When we are standing in that between place where the opponent, whether human or otherwise, is on one side and the precipice is before us on the other, this is a perfect time to turn to the Lord in prayer and in submission to His wisdom and will. The answer that comes may not be the same as it was for the Israelites wherein their adversary was destroyed as they were granted a miraculous safe passage through the sea. We may suffer pain, disgrace or shame, and be severely buffeted by the forces of this world; yet, the Lord will preserve the soul, and He does bring us out of the situation with our relationship with Him whole and often with it made stronger by the process. Trials and troubles of various kinds are certain to come our way in this life. The Lord’s words that Moses repeated apply to each of us in that we can truly, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord!”