Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. – Exodus 14:13
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD.
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.
14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!
16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.
17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers.
18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them.
22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.”
27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea.
31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Late one Sunday afternoon, a group of professors and grad students got together for a potluck, discussion, and then games. One of the profs had been out fishing and arrived a bit late in his fishing outfit. He looked a bit scruffy with lures stuck in his hat and all. He could have easily been mistaken for a rather disheveled gardener. He entered the room sat down with a perplexed look on his face. While I was fishing I was contemplating the supposed miracle of the Red Sea. The story reads like real history, not mythology. I was wondering, “Could it have happened?” One of the other profs spoke up and said I have been discussing the Bible with one of my grad students. He’s here today perhaps he could help. All eyes turned to the grad student. He had no idea how to answer the question. But it was one of those moments when the Father somehow or another provides words for His servants to speak that are not their own (Matthew 10:20).
The grad student said, “Oh it’s quite simple really. It is indeed the recorded history of a miraculous event. If you believe in God, then you believe miracles can happen. If you do not believe in God, then miracles are impossible. Because I believe in God, I’m totally confident that God performed a miracle and it happened.”
The fishing prof simply said, “Oh I get it, it is quite simple isn’t it?”
The story of the Red Sea is perhaps one of the most well-known stories of the entire Old Testament. For people who do not believe in the Father and His work in human history, it is a point of derision and mockery. It is likened to Greek and Roman mythology. It is spurned and laughed out of the Bible. But to those who are children of the King, it has the aroma of life unto life (2 Corinthians 2:16).
The story is straightforward. The Father has redeemed His people the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Via the Ten Plagues, the Father broke down the resistance of Pharaoh and achieved their freedom. But Pharaoh had second thoughts and chased after them. He found them trapped with their backs to the Red Sea. There was no way of escape.
The people cried out to Moses. Moses turned to the Father for help. The Father provided a simple yet profound, miraculous answer. He told Moses to pick up his staff and raise his hand over the sea. The Red Sea miraculously parted and allowed the people to escape on dry ground. The dry ground had previously been the mucky seabed. The people simply walked through walls of water on either side. Only God can do such a miracle. Was there any power in the rod? Was there any power in Moses or his hands? No the power and authority to do miracles resides solely with the Father Himself. For dramatic effect, He uses objects and people to accomplish His goals.
This is a story of the Father intervening in the space-time continuum to miraculously rescue and save His people. None of us will probably ever have to cross the Red Sea on dry ground. But this miracle-working power is available to every child of the King. The Father chooses when and how to intervene in human history. But access to such marvelous intervention is open to each child of the King.
Psalms 37:5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.
REFLECT & PRAY
Exodus 14:14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
Father thank You that You are there for me and I have only to calm down, focus, and remember Who You are and what You do.
A few observations. This entire story had been arranged by the Father to protect His people and rid them of a powerful enemy out for blood. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart to choose a course of action that resulted in the destruction of the best part of his army (Exodus 14:4).
Miracles are very impressive at the moment, but they are like the morning mist and soon depart as time passes.
Exodus 14:31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the LORD and in His servant Moses.
No matter what incredible miracles the Father performs, people have short memories. When they saw the Egyptians coming after them they forgot the Ten Plagues. After the miracle of the Red Sea, they forgot what the Father had done and simply no longer believed that it really occurred. Ask the average person on the street, “Did the miracle of the Red Sea really happen?” The answer “yes” will be few and far between. Biblical faith is not based upon miracles, but rather upon the facts presented in the word of God.
What “powered” the pillar of smoke in the pillar of fire? It was the angel of the Lord. More on that another time.
Exodus 14:19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them.
Because it is so helpful for people, the Father wants them to realize and recognize Who He is and what He does. He states his goal in an odd, seemingly self-gratifying way.
Exodus 14:4 I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!”
What does it mean that the Father wants to display His glory?
The Hebrew word translated glory is kabod. Typically means heavy, honorable, or glorious. “Here, however, it means ‘I will be recognized as having honor by means of the Pharaoh,’ or ‘my victory over the king . . . Will bring me honor’ . . .. In many languages this will be expressed as ‘People will praise [or, honor] me because I was victorious over the king’” (UBS).
Recognizing and acknowledging the Father for Who He is and what He does is the heart of worship then and now.
Exodus 14:13 Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.
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