The Red Sea Crossing

Stand still and see…

Moses at Red SeaAnyone who has seen the Cecil B DeMille movie, The Ten Commandments, surely remembers this scene…

Moses standing on a rock, pointing his staff over the Red Sea, announcing, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”

Interestingly, that scene, although powerful, is not in the Bible. What it says is…

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. Exodus 14:21

Bringing the Israelites to that point, organising them into tribes, and marching them to this location, was the solution to the logistical nightmare we left Moses with last week.

But it had not all been trust and obedience on the part of the people… who, strictly speaking, were still slaves, as they were still in Egypt.

When they became aware that Pharaoh and his army were following them, they were very afraid…

Then they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Exodus 14:11

It is easy to be critical and say… ‘they saw all the miracles God performed in Egypt, they were released after the tenth plague, God led them by a pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night… and they still didn’t trust Him!’

In their defence… they didn’t know Him. (Well, most of them did not.) It’s possible they did think Moses was leading them out of Egypt so God could make an end of them.

This is where Moses spoke that famous line that was used in the movie…

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you and you will hold your peace. Exodus 14: 13,14

¯Moses, waiting for God

When reading the next verse, t is easy to have the impression that Moses stood still and waited for that salvation to happen.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry land through the midst of the sea.

The crossing of the Red Sea is well documented… and much contended about… particularly about where they crossed. But cross they did.

Crossing Red Sea drawing

There is a piece of information circulating on the Internet regularly about the student and his lecturer discussing this. The lecturer insisted the crossing was in a place where the water was six inches deep. The student came back with something along the lines of… what a mighty miracle God worked to drown the entire Egyptian army in six inches of water.

I will leave you with that thought…

Next week I will be writing on a different subject.

Till then… tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams



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