First thing you notice about the story is the lack of faith of Israel. Sure, you say, it's easy to lose faith with an insumountable obstacle like the Red Sea in front of you. But look at verse 19:
Exo 14:19 And the Angel of God, the one who went before the camp of Israel, moved. And he went to the rear of them. And the pillar of the cloud went from in front of their face and it stood behind them.
So here's the thing- yeah, the sea was in front of them but so was the miraculous pillar of God, and with it, the Angel Of The Lord. Their lack of faith led them to ignore the help of God right in front of them and focus only on the obstacle. And thus they blamed God (through Moses) for their troubles- or to look at it from a slightly different angle, their problems made them think God was not worth the effort:
Exo 14:11 And they said to Moses, Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12 Did we not tell you this word in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
But God's protection moved between them and their enemy- not their OBSTACLE, mind you, but their enemy. They still had the obstacle in front of them, but their ENEMY couldn't get at them.
Next, I noted that it took God's wind all that night and into the morning to make the path for them. Heston did it much faster, but God makes us wait until He has everything ready.
|de Mille worked a little faster than God.|
So the Hebrews started through, on dry land, no less- God had prepared their passage. Did that make it easier, or less frightful?
Exo 14:22 And the sons of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground. And the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
You tell me- going across a sea bed with the waters "congealed" (see 15:8) on both sides of you, isn't scary? Two notes I want to make on this- the word congealed in 15:8 indicates that the waters had "curdled like cheese". Second, a lot of "experts" try to poo-poo this into natural believability by saying that the Red Sea is a mistranslation of the much smaller "reed sea", a marshy area near the northern extreme of the sea. If so, why does 14:21-24 show that it took them an entire day to get across it?
Points to be made here- one) God's help might not make things "less scary" for us. Two) God takes His time arranging the means of our help and salvation.
So then the next thing you notice comes in verses 24-25:
Exo 14:24 And in the morning watch it happened that Jehovah looked to the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the army of the Egyptians.
Exo 14:25 And He took off their chariot wheels, and made them go heavily, so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for Jehovah fights for them against the Egyptians.
Unpacking this, we see that the enemy was finally allowed to pass through the pillar. Temptations often "pass through God's protection." God isn't going to protect us from the threat of the enemy- sometimes we need that threat to move us. But it doesn't mean God isn't still watching, or protecting us from the full force of the enemy.
Also in that verse, you notice the Egyptians had already turned around BEFORE the seas rolled back upon them. Symbolism? How about this: Those who have real faith in the Lord, through adversity, reach the goal at the end of God's path. But there are others without faith, who try to do things in their own strength, who seemingly have it all in THIS world- but eventually they come to a point where they REJECT God. At this point God "troubles them" (the word used in 14:24 translates also to "confused"), and judgment sweeps them away.
This is where you really see Moses as a type of Christ. Just as Moses led the failing Israelites by tearing open the sea to their Great Escape, Jesus- as Paul put it- ripped open the curtain of the Holy of Holies between us and God, giving us OUR Great Escape.
Exo 14:30 So Jehovah saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.
Exo 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which Jehovah did upon the Egyptians. And the people feared Jehovah, and believed Jehovah and His servant Moses.
So they all lived happily ever after, right? No- it took a grand total of 21 verses before, with the Angel of the Lord before them and the judgment of the Egyptians behind them, they were bitching for water. Why was it so hard for them? Same reasons it's hard for us. We focus on the obstacle, we focus on the "need", and forget where we came from and Who got us there. We could pray that God deliver us as He always has. But we "murmur":
Exo 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, because it was bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.
Exo 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
That translates to be obstinate, to refuse to move. The REFUSED to remember what God had done for them. They would rather bray than pray.
|So let me ask you- what's in YOUR prayer room?|