The people of God were at the Red Sea mired in despair. At that moment how the Lord must have longed for someone like Gideon to rise up in that frightened camp and remind everyone of God’s faithfulness in the past. A few generations later Gideon had only a small army of three hundred men against an army, yet he shouted in faith before the battle (see Judges 6 and 7). You see, as far as the Lord is concerned, the time to stand is in the darkest moment. It is when everything seems hopeless, when there appears to be no way out, when God alone can save and deliver. Israel’s predicament at the Red Sea was intended by God as a learning experience for them, a moment to build their faith. Because faith isn’t really being tested when everything is going smoothly.
If only Israel had remembered the miracles God had done for them in Egypt. If only they had trusted His word that He would carry them in His arms as a father carries his child. If only a few had begun a worship song — the same song they later sang on the other side. If only the people had trusted the Lord, shouting, “He is my strength! My God will triumph. Who is like unto Thee, O Lord?” Tell me, what would have happened?
They would have established a strong, abiding faith in God — a faith tested and proven through the fire of their predicament. Their faith would have emerged so unshakable that it would have carried them through every hardship of the wilderness journey just ahead. They would have had a foundation of faith upon which to build. And over time they would have learned to confidently praise God in all circumstances, with a faith so strong hell would have shuddered.
The great need of this present hour is for Christians who have learned to sing the song of deliverance when they are being tested.