Just imagine... you and your family are in the kitchen. The salad is tossed, the tea is poured, the aroma of your favorite chicken casserole wafts about the room. You’re just about to sit down at the table when a roll of thunder shakes the windowpanes. One second, you’re in the kitchen, and the next second you begin a barely imaginable ascent into the atmosphere and beyond. Just as Jesus had been “taken up” into the clouds (Acts 1:9), you, and every born-again believer, are “caught up” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17), gently floating into the clouds. You’ve shed the shackles of earth’s grip and gravity and are set free! Mortality is clothed with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:54) as chinos and button-downs are exchanged for Heaven’s righteous robes! With Enoch, the raptured won’t “experience death” (Hebrews 11:5). With Elijah, you’ll ride the whirlwind into Heaven’s eternal embrace (2 Kings 2:11). It’s not a dream! You’ll sing, “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I'm free at last!”
For the Israelites, the journey through the Red Sea may have been equally as mind-boggling, mind-blowing, mind-bending. They’d been born as slaves. Their backs, scarred and still raw, had been whipped into submission by their Egyptian taskmasters. Yet in these last days, God had visited with undeniable power and grace! Now, with waters towering to the right and left, the ravenous Egyptian militia nipping at their heels, the visible manifestation of God’s majesty, the pillar of fire, was leading them, directing them, drawing them.
Two million of Egypt’s slaves walked down into the dry seabed. Hours later, two million of God’s emancipated climbed the eastern banks. Safe. Secure. Saved.
Standing on the eastern shores, Moses’s multitude could hear the ruthless and vindictive Egyptians. The charioteers whipped their beasts. The foot soldiers, carrying their gleaming shields and sharpened spears, thudded in military cadence. Closer. Closer.
Just before dawn, “the Lord looked down at the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian forces into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty. ‘Let’s get away from Israel,’ the Egyptians said, ‘because the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the water may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal depth. While the Egyptians were trying to escape from it, the Lord threw them into the sea. The water came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, plus the entire army of Pharaoh that had gone after them into the sea” (Exodus 14:23–28).
Without a spear, a sword, or a sling, the Hebrew’s enemy was soundly defeated! “Not even one of them survived! ... That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in him and in his servant Moses”(Exodus 14:28-31).
Standing on the clouds, in worshipful adoration, we’ll sing with “Moses and the Israelites... ‘I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted... The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise him! ... With your faithful love, you will lead the people you have redeemed; you will guide them to your holy dwelling with your strength... The Lord will reign forever and ever!’ ” (Exodus 15:1-2, 13, 18).