Moses and the Red Sea (24-07-21)
Following a series of ten plagues, Pharoah eventually grants Moses’ request to ‘Let my people go’ from slavery in Egypt, to freedom in the Promised Land. Having agreed to set them free, however, he pursues the Israelites so that they become trapped between the sea and his approaching army.
Bible Reading: Exodus 14:10-16, 21-22
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
This event in Israel’s history is full of imagery for us today. The New Testament sees Israel’s escape from Egypt through the parted sea as a symbol of baptism. Egypt represents slavery to sin while the Promised Land represents salvation. God’s promise to you is that, through faith and the waters of your baptism, he has brought you to his promised land and to freedom from sin.
However, faced with the very real threat of the approaching Egyptians, the Israelites decide they would have been better with security in Egypt, even though they were slaves, rather than facing a difficult situation before them.
As you look over your Christian life, are there times when you think life was better before you chose to follow Jesus? If so, can you hear God speaking to you Moses’ words to Israel? "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Will you stand firm and trust him?
Faced, on the one side with the Egyptian army and on the other side with a vast expanse of sea, the Israelites are trapped, but God has led them to this place and God will lead them out. By obeying God’s instructions, Moses stretches out his hand over the sea and the sea parts. God transforms an impossible situation and leads his people to freedom.
Jesus tells us that, with a mustard seed of faith, we can speak to a mountain, and it will be thrown into the sea. Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation at the moment? Why not follow Moses example and Jesus’ teaching, and speak to the situation, that the sea will part, or that the mountain will be removed, and that God will lead you through to freedom and to safety?
Thank you, Lord, that you always lead me from slavery into freedom.
And, when things are tough, give me the faith to trust that you will find a way through.
God will make a way