Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus 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 14:21-31)
A Parting Faith
The children of Israel had seen some wondrous things. The plagues wrought by God upon the Egyptian people were devastating. In the final pestilence the smell of fear filled the land as families (including Pharaoh) buried their dead. Their joy was short lived as they approached the Red Sea. Behind them came the whole of the Egyptian army to kill every man, woman and child. Crying out to the Lord the heart of the people was filled with fear. Assured by Moses they would never see the Egyptians again a great and incredible miracle began. As the prophet stretched out his hand over the sea the Lord caused the waters to go back by a strong east wind that blew all night. The noise must have been deafening. As the sun began to crest over the eastern horizon the eyes of the Israelites were astonished to see the vast waters of the Red Sea parted on the right and left and a path of dry land established in the midst. Nearly two million people were awe struck at a sight not beheld since the days of Noah.
There were a number of miracles that day. The parting of the waters magnified the power of God exponentially. Another great example of faith happened that day. Someone had to be the first one to walk across. They were going to walk on dry land between two mountains of water held in place by an invisible power. The people began to move forward with eyes filled with wonder. It took a lot of faith to step into the Red Sea with the belief that everything was going to be well. Faith moved them through the vastness of the sea knowing no harm would come to them. Looking by faith to deliverance on the other side guided them between the realities of what surrounded them. Their faith delivered them to the shores of deliverance on the other side. Redemption.
It must not be forgotten that after the Israelites past through the waters the Egyptians also came across on dry land. The reasons for their crossing on dry land were different. They did not believe in God yet they walked on dry land. Their reasons for coming into the midst of the sea were not to find deliverance but to kill. In the midst of pursuing their enemies they failed to notice the difficulties they encountered. Their chariots had problems and the army became disorganized. Then it happened. All the water held in place by the hand of God was let loose. No one survived. In one act of God’s final show of righteousness the Lord wiped out Pharaoh’s army. The children of Israel were astonished.
Life is much like standing at the Red Sea. Most people have no desire to see the power of God. Their desires are for themselves and care nothing for the evidence of God. Like the Egyptians who witnessed the plagues by the hand of God their sorrow was short lived. The Hebrews saw the parting of the sea and walked in its midst to find deliverance. Faithful followers of the Lord will step into the sea of life walking on dry land because of the faith in HIM who holds the waters on both sides. It can look terrifying but not to the children of God who look to the distant shore for deliverance. By faith we are carried in the midst of troubled waters to our home on eternity’s shore. The blessing of our salvation will be the destruction of those who do not believe. Like the waters which destroyed the faithless our salvation will come in the final day by the righteous judgment of God.
Have faith in the ONE who made the worlds and gave us HIS Son to die for us. Walk on dry land to the home which HE has prepared for us. Trust in HIS power to deliver. Walk through the midst of the Red Sea. Now that is a great story.