by Elaine Pierce
If you've ever been to a Passover Seder, you know that this story - Moses parting the Red Sea so the Israelites can flee the oncoming Egyptian army - is the focal point of the evening. Jews everywhere remember that Yahweh protected them from the Egyptians, and Moses brought them safely to the Promised Land. The Seder ends with the pledge "Next year, in Jerusalem!" And then the festive meal commences.
This story is rich with meaning for Christians, too. God's promise to Moses is also God's promise to us:
Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:13-14.
Did you notice as you read this passage that Moses, under God's direction, parted the Red Sea, but the people still had to walk through the sea, with a wall of water on their right and a wall of water on their left. He didn't teleport them to the other side, did he? They had to trust him that the wall of water wouldn't cave in on them. I imagine they walked pretty quickly! God gave them a way forward, but they had to trust that he would deliver them. God invited them to join him and to trust that he would deliver them.
We've seen, very recently, what incredible damage winds and rains can do in the form of Hurricane Ian. God tells Moses to stretch out his hand over the Red Sea so that the waters will flow back in place, and the Egyptian army who is in hot pursuit of the Israelites is completely obliterated.
Are the waters of doubt and despair threatening to overwhelm you? Do you sometimes think there is no way out of a bad situation you find yourself in? I can't promise you that all your problems will be solved, but I can tell you that God is good, and that God will come alongside you and walk with you through those times of fear, those times of doubt, those times when hope seems lost. Read Psalm 46, and take heart in these ancient words of hope in times of trouble:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (v. 1-3).
Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to intercede for us. You parted the Red Sea and the Israelites were saved. You sent your Son to save us once and forever. We thank you for your grace, freely given. Help us today and every day to serve you with joy. Amen.