a study through Exodus on how God shapes His leaders
The book of Exodus is full of miracle after miracle. Between the Ten Plagues of Egypt and what God did during the Israelites wilderness wanderings, it can be easy to become accustomed to the amazing things God did. However, we should never let the miraculous become ordinary; never allow the amazing to become commonplace. God performed these signs and wonders for a reason—to show that He is God. Therefore, let’s not forget or lose sight of the awesomeness of our great God!
After the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites found themselves between a rock and a hard place. We know from our previous post that God led them a roundabout away so that they would not be tempted to return to Egypt immediately after receiving their freedom. However, the way God led them was straight towards the Red Sea. He did not take them around it, but right to its shores.
Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Pharaoh had a change of heart and realized that he made a big mistake. So he gathered an army and set out to overcome the Israelites and bring them back.
Picture the scene. The Israelites are up against the sea on one side and the best army in the world is quickly approaching on the other. We know what happens, but remember the reminder not to let the miraculous become ordinary? Let’s ponder this moment.
What would it have felt like to be locked between two seemingly impossible circumstances? While we kind of laugh at the Israelites’ complaints to Moses, we would probably be saying similar things. “Why have you brought us out here to die?” The odds were impossible. There seemed to be no way out. All hope seemed lost.
But this is where God loves to work. The space between the hopeless and impossible is God’s glory space. It is here, between the rock and the hard place, between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, that God does the impossible.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall
to them on their right hand and on their left.”
The parting of the Red Sea is arguably one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. We all probably first heard it while a child in Sunday school. However, we can’t let familiarity blind us to the greatness of God. There are several things in this story that are worth pondering.
The parting of the Red Sea didn’t happen during the middle of the day. It was at night, all night long. It was during the darkest hour that God came through. When the Israelites were giving up hope and succumbing to despair, God parted the Red Sea. And He did it all night long.
In the darkest night, God is working. When all hope seems lost, He is making a way through your problems. He is driving back the sea and preparing the way before you. So fear not the night, do not become discouraged when impossible circumstances close in around you, God is working in the darkness and all through the night. You are not alone; God is with you making a way.
God always makes a way for His people, and when He does, He doesn’t do it by half measure. The children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The bottom of the sea which had been covered by water for thousands of years was dry. No mud puddle, soggy spot, or streams to jump over. Bone dry.
God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. He knows our weaknesses. The Israelites were carrying baggage. Among their number were old and young, sick and weak. They were not in any condition to make a hasty dash through rough roads or muddy paths. God knew this. He knew their weaknesses, knew their limitations, so He didn’t give them anything they could not navigate. He gave them dry ground to walk on. It wasn’t slippery, sticky, or mucky; it was dry, easy to walk on, and a complete miracle.
So the next time you feel your strength failing and unable to go forward, remember that God knows. God knows your weaknesses and your shortcoming. He knows what you can and cannot take. And He keeps it all in mind as He makes a way for you through your deepest fears, biggest problems, and most challenging circumstances. God will not give you anything that you can’t handle. Remember that the Israelites walked through the Red Sea on dry ground.
God could have let the people walk over on top of the sea, but instead He divided the water. He made them pass through the sea. It must have been a terrifying, out of this world experience. I wonder how many Israelites wondered if the sea would stay divided long enough.
Likewise, God doesn’t always allow us to walk over our fears and problems. He wants to take us through. He wants to show us that He has power to divide and conquer. He wants us to exercise our faith and trust that the water will stay divided for as long as it takes to pass through. Therefore, the next time we face a seemingly impossible hurdle, let us remember the parting of the Red Sea and have faith that God will divide the water of our fear and take us through the impossible to the other side.
The End Result
The parting of the Red Sea was an amazing miracle. It was a beautiful end chapter to the story of Israel’s literal exodus from Egypt. As we’ve already seen, there are so many different layers of meaning we can take away from each detail of this miraculous event. So I would highly encourage you to take some extra time to ponder this event and see how it can apply to your life.
But what was the end result of the parting of the Red Sea? What happened to the Israelites on the other side? When they were stuck between the sea and the Egyptian army they despaired and gave up hope. But after walking through the sea on dry ground all night along, what was their perspective? Faith.
“Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.”
The Israelites believed. They feared the LORD. After all the plagues of Egypt and the many wonders God had done, the Israelites finally came to the place of full belief and reverent fear of their God. This was the moment when they fully embraced, accepted, and believed in the God of their forefathers.
What will our response be when God parts the Red Seas in our lives? What will we do when God leads us through our fears and problems on dry ground?
May our reaction mirror that of ancient Israel. May we grow in our faith and reverent fear of God. And may we praise Him, as Moses and the children of Israel did, with a song of praise and worship.
“Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”