April 18, 2024

Exodus 14:15-31 (HCSB)
Escape through the Red Sea

15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. 16 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I am going to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh, all his army, and his chariots and horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” 19 Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20 It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. The cloud was there in the darkness, yet it lit up the night. So neither group came near the other all night long. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left. 23 The Egyptians set out in pursuit—all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen—and went into the sea after them. 24 Then during the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw them into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty. “Let’s get away from Israel,” the Egyptians said, “because Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt!” 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal depth. While the Egyptians were trying to escape from it, the Lord threw them into the sea. 28 The waters came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, the entire army of Pharaoh, that had gone after them into the sea. None of them survived.
29 But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lordand believed in Him and in His servant Moses.

Sarah Ricciardi
“Go forward” To experience the miracle we must step forward. When I was maybe 10 years old my parents enrolled me in swimming lessons at the local university. A guy on the swim team was paired up with me–his whole focus was to get me swimming. Day one I stood on the cold, concrete edge of that humongous pool. He was in the water and told me to jump in. I said no. He tried coaxing me, probably everything short of bribing me. I wouldn’t do it. My logic was sound. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. Therefore, I did not trust him. His position of authority didn’t matter and my typical people pleasing drive evidently had jumped ship for swim lessons. The rest of that week he simply let me doggie paddle on the boogie board. I didn’t go forward. I didn’t experience the “miracle” of swimming. Aren’t you thankful God is trustworthy? We’ve all experienced His faithfulness. This world spinning in orbit is one example alone. So we can trust when He says, “Go forward”. Even if forward doesn’t make sense; even if it’s not “logical”. Forward with God is always more stable than any ground we could pound on our own. And how about the beautiful picture of God showing Israel the way and then stepping behind them, in between their old world (Egypt) and what enslaved them? Going forward means leaving what’s enslaved us to be drowned out by God’s might.

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