Monday, September 25, 2017

"And they crossed on dry ground...

We know about Moses. We love him. We know of his his foibles, his sins, and his great faith. Moses is in the Hebrews Hall of Fame Faith and rightly so. He was used mightily by God.

Moses was the instrument God chose to use to display His salvific power when the Hebrews were pursued by Pharaoh's army at the Red Sea. Read from the word:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Exodus 14:21-22).

I remember the Indonesian Christmas Tsunami of 2004. I've watched news of other tsunamis since. I've seen the movie The Perfect Storm, with the boat climbing up that 100' tall wave. I saw a video of a Puerto Rican dam break in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. A rushing wall of water is destructive and definitely in the top pantheon of fear-inducing natural disasters.

The Hebrews had lived in Egypt for generations. The Nile floods annually. They were certainly familiar with the deadly properties of wayward water.

We read the Bible and we believe all that is within it. (At least, I hope you do). But let's take the time to really regard that moment. With the Egyptian Army in full pursuit, and with the vast Red Sea in front of them, the escaping Hebrews seemed trapped. Moses had prayed and received an answer. God would allow them to cross the Sea on dry ground. Moses walked down the incline and put his foot on the dry ground, and continued through the wall of water, across the Sea.

It was one thing for Moses to trust God in faith and to step out, but would the grumbling and skittish Hebrews follow?

By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. (Hebrews 11:29).

EPrata photo
They did. But imagine that moment. Imagine it as if it were you. You pick your way down the incline, taking care to step carefully over wet vegetation and slippery rocks. You glance to the left and see a towering wall of water and you glance to the right and see an equally imposing wall of water. You look up. The water goes to the sky a long way. Perhaps you can even see fish swimming in the wall. Does your mind even comprehend what you are seeing? Can you process this? Do you dare walk in between the walls of water, trusting God to uphold them for as long as necessary?

You do.

The biblical record states that when the people of Israel finished walking through, and the Egyptian army went in, the Lord closed the wall of water and the Egyptians were thrown into the sea in the midst. It does not state that any of the people of Israel had turned back, lingered, or hesitated on the shore. It does not say that any of the Hebrews had decided to make camp and think it over first. They crossed. All of them.

We can laud them for their faith, and we should. They saw. It was an incredible moment, filled with tension and fear, both of the water and of the Lord. (Exodus 14:31). But as is said in the New Testament,

Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29).

Friend, you (and I) are blessed. We believe by faith. We step out in minor and major ways, every day. We trust the invisible Lord to lead us across the slippery ground, over the rocks, and onto the dry sand, and He gets the glory. (Exodus 14:17-18).

He leads. We follow. He gets glory, our faith increases, so we can follow Him more, so He gets more glory, and our faith grows...

Praise Him for the cycle of life eternal.



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