Exodus Devotional | The Red Sea, Day 5: God Will Deliver His People
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus The Red Sea, Day 5
“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night. 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.” - (Exodus 14:15-21)
Imagine yourself on the shores of the Red Sea, your family standing at your side carrying newly acquired wealth from your former slave masters. It’s dusk and the night is approaching, but Moses has ordered everyone to keep moving. All of Israel is gathered, waiting for Moses to do something. There are nervous whispers and murmurs in the crowd around you. You peer back, over your shoulder toward the sunset and what you see compels you to fully turn and stare at the horizon, back toward Egypt.
There’s a growing dust storm on the horizon and frightening shapes are silhouetted in the setting sunlight. You know instantly what it is: it’s the Egyptian army. The finest and best-fed military horses Egypt has left. Metal and wooden chariots that somehow escaped the crush of God’s hail-plague. Each shining chariot is filled with three hardened soldiers, each who’s son is now dead and freshly buried. All because of our God.
There will be no mercy--the slaughter will be total and complete. Even though many of your friends and countrymen are dressed in armor and carrying weapons, it’s like a modern day child costumed as a Navy SEAL on Halloween. You’re all weak and untrained. There won’t be any battle here.
As shouts and cries of anger are hurled at Moses, standing there with that mystical shepherd’s staff of his, people begin moving and jogging about, though there is nowhere to run. You see Moses turn his back and face the Red Sea, his head bowing. You marvel at the man’s stupidity to pray in a moment like this. You join the furious cries: do something, Moses, you worthless prophet!
Then, Moses raises his staff above his head. You can’t quite make out what he is saying toward the waves. From nowhere a ferocious wind whips up, nearly knocking everyone over. There is a monstrous flash of light and a wall of terrible flame shoots up behind your people, cutting off the oncoming Egyptian chariots. No one is standing, now...only Moses. Bewildered, you stare at the waters, not believing anything you’re seeing...the waters are dividing, standing up in sheets as though walls. The sound of rushing water has drowned out the people’s shouts of fear, drowned out the roar of the flaming wall, drowned out the distant Egyptian war cries.
Without turning, Moses steps from the boulder he was standing on and strides down onto the dry land that has taken the place of what was surely to become your watery grave. The Red Sea has parted and Yahweh has delivered you, once again.
Today’s meditation: God is close by, he cares, he’s at work, and from darkness, he will deliver his people. Always.
1. I know it looks like our backs are against the wall right now. If we live life normally, we spread a terrible disease. If we stay locked down too long, we choke out our way of life. Between these two alternatives, we stand in fear and anxiety. I urge you to join me in prayer, seemingly the most foolish thing to do when we all wonder “what can be done?” Let’s call upon the Lord and ask him to show us how he will make a way.
2. All week, I’ve directed you to meditate on truths that might help us accept today’s meditation. I’ve told you that we belong to God as his special prize; that no matter what trial we face next, the Lord is our salvation; that any victory we might see today is temporary, but points us to believe in the true, everlasting victory; and that if we want to move forward with God, we need to remember what he’s done. On a Post-It or note card (something), write down today’s meditation: God is close by, he cares, he’s at work, and from darkness, he will deliver his people. Always. Put it where you can’t miss it and believe the testimony of Exodus chapter 14, in which the Lord divides the Red Sea and rescues his people.