Trapped between two mountains and facing the Red Sea, the children of Israel were in a hopeless predicament as an angry Pharaoh and his iron chariots closed in on them from behind.
This is a very familiar story, one you have heard your entire church life. God had led Israel into a horrible crisis where they were being chased by a fierce enemy. Incredible as it seems, the Lord had purposely led His people into this precarious spot. I believe it is a story with great importance for the Church today, indeed at this moment in history.
Israel was trapped, seemingly helpless. And it caused a panic throughout the camp of Israel. Wives and children wept, huddling around their fathers and grandparents. A group of irate elders descended on their leader, Moses, ranting accusingly, “Were there not enough graves in Egypt so you’ve brought us out here to die? We told you in Egypt to leave us alone. Better for us to have been slaves to Pharaoh than to die in this miserable wilderness!”
I wonder if Moses had a moment of misgiving in that hour. I picture him falling on his knees, crying, “Lord, what’s going on? How is this possibly Your will for us?” Amazingly, in that dark moment God wrought a miracle of deliverance for Israel. Suddenly the winds were stirred up so powerfully they parted the sea in two. With a miraculous escape route before them, the people walked over the sea on dry ground. Then, when Pharaoh and his army tried to follow, the waves toppled down, drowning them in the raging waters.
“So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt: so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:30–31).