If you’ve spent much time attending church, you’ve likely heard reference to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea in Exodus 14. Even if you haven’t spent much time attending church, you’ve probably heard of one of the most iconic portrayals of Moses by Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments as he led the Israelites out of captivity and across the Red Sea.
Having always attended church, the crossing of the Red Sea is a familiar story to me. Yet, when I revisit it in my continual read-through of the entire Bible, I am usually reminded of a forgotten lesson or a new one comes to mind.
Regardless of your familiarity with this story, I offer this short list of lessons to enrich your next reading of it. A combination of commentary input and Holy Spirit leading, these lessons not only bring the story alive in my mind, but they also increase its relevance in my life still today.
- Staying in slavery sometimes is easier than struggling for freedom, especially when we rely on ourselves for change.
- Don’t be afraid to stand and watch God rescue you. Keep in mind, though, that standing implies a readiness to move when God indicates it is time to do so.
- God uses our struggles for his glory. He uses them to increase the faith of believers and to show his power to unbelievers.
- God provides protection from our pursuers, so we can follow the path of his will with confidence.
- God’s will is often shown to us as we take paths that we see as impossible or nonexistent.
The Israelite’s escape from the Egyptians through the Red Sea is one of the greatest scenes of deliverance in the Bible. It also represents a greater spiritual reality of redemption from slavery to sin yet to come. Can it be inspiration for your own deliverance?
“For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
Reread the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. Look for these lessons but know that seeing them all may take a few readings. Enjoy the journey, though. As you do, know also that God has even greater things in store for his people.
“This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.'” (Isaiah 43:16-19)