How Do I Respond to a National Crisis?

by Randy Carlson

The COVID-19 global pandemic is a crisis we’ve never seen before. I started thinking about the word crisis and the different meanings for it. And the definition that really caught my attention: “a crisis is a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.”

When people find themselves in a crisis, they react in different ways. And it’s important to look at how we should be respond to a crisis in our lives. This month’s Intentional Living teaching with Dr. Randy Carlson, How to Biblically Respond to a Crisis, reveals snapshots from God’s Word that answer how we should respond to four different kinds of crisis in our lives:

  • a national crisis.
  • a group crisis.
  • a family crisis.
  • a personal crisis.

Let’s look at the first one – a national crisis – in the Book of Exodus. The children of Israel had been held captive in Egypt for many years. God calls Moses to free his people. The people of God experience His faithfulness in the Passover and in the preparation to leave captivity and journey to the Promised Land. They witnessed His faithfulness in these plagues and promises in their life. Eventually, Pharaoh is worn down. He frees them, but once they are on their way, he changes his mind.


Remember His Faithfulness

As the Israelites approach the Red Sea, they start to experience some of what they hope will be freedom in their life, but then realize their captor is in pursuit. “And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes and behold the Egyptians marching after them. So they were afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord” (Exodus 14:10 NKJV).

“And Moses then said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians who you see today you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace’” (Exodus 14:13-14 NKJV).

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward’” (Exodus 14:15 NKJV).

When we reference the Bible commentary, we see God is really saying, there’s a time to pray, and a time to take action. God is saying to Moses – listen, I have been faithful; I have provided for you. I have made a way for you. Now, move forward, Israel!

As we go through this national crisis it’s important not to get stuck. God is always faithful to us. This is not a time to lean back, but to lean forward. It’s time to use the strength God has given us.

This is not a time to hide out, but a time to be very intentional, just like the children of Israel were commanded by God to move forward.

God honored his promises. The Egyptians were destroyed. “Israel saw the great work, which the Lord had done in Egypt, so the people feared the Lord and believed the Lord and his servant, Moses” (Exodus 15:31 NKJV).


Worship and Praise

Then the nation of Israel sang a song to the Lord:


I will sing to the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously.

The horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.

The Lord is my strength and my song,

and he has become my salvation.

He is my God and I will praise him;

my father’s God and I will exalt him.

 The Lord is a man of war. The Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has cast into the sea.

His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.

The depths have covered them, and they sank to the bottom like a stone.


What a word picture! When going through a crisis, we should worship God and give Him praise. What a powerful time to take the Word of God, to take music and to bring Him worship and give Him glory. The children of Israel did that at a time of crisis in their life, and it’s something we need to do in our nation today.

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