Here’s what didn’t happen. Moses didn’t nudge God in the ribs and say, “I’ve got a great idea! Move the waters of the Red Sea out of our way and then lead this multitude through on dry land!” That didn’t happen. It wasn’t Moses’s bright idea! Nobody came up with that plan except God!
Camped at Baal-zephon, Moses and the Children of Israel were trapped. They were between the proverbial rock and hard place. Pharoah owned all the pieces on the chess board. Check mate!
Even so, God’s message was, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation that he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet” (Exodus 14:13–14).
While Moses and the Israelites stood still, waiting and wondering, the Glory of God that had been in the lead suddenly moved to the rear to stand guard between Israel and the Egyptians. “The angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. There was cloud and darkness, it lit up the night, and neither group came near the other all night long” (Exodus 14:19–20). For Israel, God provided light. On the opposite side, darkness blanketed the Egyptians.
Then came God’s next directive. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground’ ” (Exodus 14:15–16). There’s a time to wait on God, and there’s a time to obediently act, to march, to move.
With two million anxious pilgrims watching, Moses raised his staff. At God’s command, he faithfully “stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left” (Exodus 14:21–22).
In your imagination, stand there on the banks of the Red Sea. Watch the eighty-year-old leader raise his shepherd’s staff. Notice the collective gasp as God begins His work. Can you see the momma who grabs her little child to clutch him close? Do you see the older gentleman raise his hands in worshipful adoration? See the multitudes, standing in awe, their mouths gaping open in utter amazement.
Listen! “Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven!” (Acts 2:2). The laws of physics, of science, of logic were suspended. The One who said, “let there be...” pushed back the waters of the sea “with a powerful east wind.” Only Almighty God could orchestrate this magnificent, marvelous, mighty miracle! When God calls, He also provides and empowers! When He said, “go,” He opened a door.
The path through the seabed wasn’t a narrow path. It couldn’t have been to accommodate two million travelers, with their herds and flocks. Nor was it a muddy mess. Solid and dry, with towering walls of water on each side, it was a twenty-lane super-expressway, clear of rocks and debris, with a gentle slope into the depths. God paved the way! God, the Great Promise-Keeper, led the way from slavery to liberty!