In the book of Genesis, chapter 12, when Abraham was 75, God promised him descendants. And again in chapter 13. “Some time later,” in chapter 15, God promised him a son and descendants as numerous as the stars. In chapter 16, when Abraham was 86, he fathered Ishmael, but God told him he was not the promised son. In chapter 17, Abraham was 99 years old, and God again promised him a son and “countless descendants,” and then once more in chapter 18. Finally, in chapter 21, when Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90, Isaac was born. Abraham had continued to believe God’s word as the years and even decades passed, and he reaped the blessing in God’s time.
When Pharaoh finally released the Hebrews and Moses led them out of Egypt, God told them to “turn back”1 and camp at the Red Sea. Then He told Moses He would cause Pharaoh to pursue them, and that’s what happened. The Hebrews would surely have preferred to leave Egypt without any complications, and Moses would surely have preferred to skip all the panic and anger he endured when the people realized they were trapped. The sea was before them; Pharaoh’s chariots were behind them. But that was God’s plan. He said: “I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army.”2
God allowed Abraham’s and Moses’ situations to turn critical, to the point where there was no alternative or hope unless He performed a miracle. But he needed them to hold on to their faith even though they didn’t understand what He was doing.
There’s a popular saying that “the darkest hour is just before dawn.” When it seems to take forever for God to move or answer—hold on! God does His best work in impossible situations.