Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all that night and turned the seabed into dry land, and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters formed a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians pursued them into the middle of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his war-chariots and his charioteers.
This story is not new to most Christians. In fact, I would wager that a vast majority of the world is familiar with this tale. It is one of the great miracles that God performed to save his people Israel from their enemy and God’s. If you have seen The Ten Commandments, you get a visual of this awesome event. It likely does not compare to the real thing, but it helps put it in perspective. What strikes me about this tale is the suspense. This portion of scripture indicates that God did not simply open the door of escape then close it quickly. We read here that Egypt was allowed to advance. At least, it would have seemed that way to the Israelites who were fleeing from them. They were chased not only to the edge of the sea but to the very middle. The scriptures that follow this passage, however, show that God frustrated the plan of Egypt and destroyed those who ventured to the center of the sea.
What suspense Israel must have felt in that moment! They could not go left or right for the sea was a wall on either side. They could not go back for enemy was hot on their heels. They could only go forward and trust God to save them. The thing is, Egypt got pretty close. Imagine someone wanting to hunt you down so badly that they would follow you into a sea that was clearly parted by some miraculous power. That was no normal event. Those who chased the Israelites into the Red Sea must have been fervent. The Israelites being chased must have felt the pressure. When the enemy made it past the shore and onto the seabed, where they wondering whether God would fulfill his promise to save them? In our lives, when it seems like near misses are all we experience, and our relief from life’s troubles seems to occur only in the eleventh hour, do we doubt God’s promise to never forsake us?
We will have our own Red Sea moments in this life. Perhaps they are not as dramatic, but we still require the miraculous hand of God to move so that we would be spared. Sometimes the battles are intense and fierce, and we leave shaken. The suspense can bring excitement or doubt. But if God can part the waters to save his people, He surely can do whatever is required to save us. Whether the Egypt chasing you down is a person or a circumstance or the devil, do not cast your eyes on the sea of despair that may lie before you. Ask God to part that waters and show you the way to safety. When He shows you how to go, remember that the way may be extraordinary and miraculous. And even if it looks like the enemy is about to catch up to you, trust that God will deliver you. He can and will part the seas for you, too. Father, thank You for the miraculous power that You show as You deliver your people, and remind us that You will keep your promise to deliver us.