“And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.”
How interesting that the children of Israel went out with boldness, unaware that Pharaoh had come in pursuit of them. Pharaoh allowed them to leave and the Egyptian people showed them favor and gave them jewelry and clothing. They went out with boldness because there seemed to be nothing to fear, the difficulty had passed and they were triumphant and free! Their boldness, it seems, was not found in the Lord but in their circumstances.
When things are well, when favor is obvious and abundant, boldness comes quickly. Yet we see their boldness melt away in an instant when they see Pharaoh pursuing them and realize they are trapped against the edge of the sea. How quickly we forget the power of the Almighty to save and deliver, how quickly we forget the works He has already done! Did God not show Himself victorious over all of Egypt? Did He not lead them by cloud and fire until now? Where is their boldness in the midst of trial and uncertainty?
When we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will not waiver. We will not be double minded, we will not be shaken. Through good and bad, prosperity and difficulty, we remain confident in the Lord when we remain fully submitted to Him. Look at the contrast of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego when faced with certain death in the furnace as compared to the reaction of Israel to Pharaoh. Are you only bold when things are going your way but fearful when they are not, complaining and grumbling as soon as difficulties arise? Or do you stand firm in the Lord, fully trusting and fully submitting to His will, no matter the cost?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;”