When the forefathers of this great nation wrote the Bill of Rights, they included the freedom of speech. This gives everyone—even non-citizens—the ability to speak their mind without fear of criminal consequences. Throughout history, many great men and women have used their freedom of speech to stand against the establishment, causing positive changes, while others hide behind this amendment. They use the freedom of speech platform as a license to complain, moan and spread their infectious and unproductive garbage.
Freedom of speech was not an original idea of eighteenth century nonconformity. The first One to give humans the freedom of speech was God. He allows us to speak our mind, but that doesn’t mean we always should. This truth was made evident to me while reading Exodus 14. The Israelites were in the wilderness with Pharaoh’s army was fast approaching. There was no escape. They were hemmed in between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea.
And what did the Israelites do?
They did exactly what most of us would do; they began to whine and complain, not only to Moses, but also to God.
They couldn’t believe their gracious God, who led them out of an oppressed life filled with hopelessness, escorted them into a wilderness to drown in the Red Sea. What was He thinking? Moses was just as much a culprit for convincing them they should leave. The dismal life of slavery no longer seemed so bad. In fact, it looked more appealing when faced with death.
At that time, God spoke to Moses, who stood up and gave the Israelites reassurance. He spoke of how God was in control, that God would have victory.
Then comes verse 14:
“God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!" Exodus 14:14(MSG)
Boy did that verse hit me between the eyes, or more like right under my nose. It was as if God placed His own hand over my mouth, and whispered in my ear, “I know what I’m doing. I know what you need better than you. I don’t need your help. Let Me do My will.”
As a Christian, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is surrender my physical and worldly wants for God’s will. He designed my life for a certain purpose, but many times, it’s hard for me to see His perfect will when things aren’t going as planned. I want what I want, when I want it. I don’t want to wait, and I don’t want any trouble. Just like the Israelites, I want to be delivered without worrying a madman is about to chase me into a sea.
We all know how the story ends. God separates the waters, and the Israelites walk across on dry ground. The Egyptian army drowns and the soldiers wash up on shore at the Israelites’ feet. Can you imagine the awe and elation those people felt at that moment? They witnessed the true power of God. If they hadn’t found themselves facing a sea with horses’ hooves thundering behind them, they would never have understood His mercy and deliverance.
This reality check should teach us to accept God’s will. We may not always understand the circumstances, but complaining and groaning will do nothing but cause us to look inward for the answers instead of upward for His blessing.