The Israelites had been set free by the Egyptians and begun a long journey home. Hardly before the dust began to cover their shoes they looked behind them and here came the entire Egyptian army. Once again Pharaoh’s heart had been hardened against allowing the people freedom. The army was full of fighting men, trained with bows and swords. Israel’s camp was full of brick masons, foundation diggers, laborers, women and children. Fear immediately swept through the camp. The first sign this was going to be a very long trip came up when the people started in on Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here in the wilderness to die?” Was not this the people who had just experienced the Passover miracle? Had they not just witnessed and lived through the greatest deliverance an entire nation had ever known? Did they now believe the God who had set them free was asleep or not paying attention? Perhaps they, like so many before and after, wanted God to make the road ahead easy, void of challenge and dangers. The complaining was at God as much as at Moses, they couldn’t see God so Moses would have to do.
Moses told them not to fear for they would get to see God do another miracle. Moses cries out to God and hears Him say, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to move forward.” A sea had stopped the people from moving forward and they did not have time to go around. Water was in front of them and an army behind. They became paralyzed with fear. God simply said tell the people to gather their things and move forward. Head directly at the obstacle that seems insurmountable. Then He told “the leader” what to do. In the words of God there is a spiritual principle found that is true then and now. God said, “As for you (Moses), lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it…” Everyone reading this knows God did the work but, the work came because of the obedient action of the man. A person’s act of faith moves the hand of God. This is why Jesus said, “Say to the mountain be moved and it shall be so.” People wait to see the water moving before lifting a hand. The water moved at the man’s command because it came into agreement with God’s will. This is an obvious principle seen over and over again in scripture.
The history of this event teaches God allowed every one of His people to cross safely and drowned the army of Egypt when it attempted to pursue. Some who would question the authenticity of God’s word saying the Red Sea is very shallow at certain times of the year so it must have been during that season. One such person suggested that it was only six inches deep. It is still a great miracle for an entire army to drown in six inches of water! The existence of the Jewish nation teaches this event had to have occurred. The people were said to have had their faith encouraged and put their hope in God. That is, until the next point of challenge when the complaining started again. Every generation must answer the question of whether they will act in faith or be content with less than God’s best. It is easy to sit by the pots full of meat and eat to the heart’s content (Exodus 16:3) instead of venturing into the unknown and experiencing great challenges which lead to great victory. The question for each person is who they choose to become, the one looking at the past to better days or the one building the future to leave a great legacy?