Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of the Israelites trapped by the Red Sea, having just escaped slavery in Egypt, but now afraid and doubting since they’re in mortal danger. Moses, their leader, has just told them to not be afraid, do nothing, and be quiet. Why? What does he expect God to do? We’ll find out now:
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. And 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. The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (Exodus 14:21-29 ESV)
God did have a plan – he helped the Israelites pass through an impossible barrier to their freedom. He did it in an unmistakeably miraculous manner – with wind dividing the waters, drying the bottom so they could cross.
It didn’t last – the moment the Israelites were safe, the Egyptians pursued and drowned.
Why? What’s he trying to show?
For Pharaoh, this was the end of the line. He represented everything wrong the world, and us. We all act like we are gods, even if we wouldn’t use that language. Pharaoh actually used that language – and would have considered himself a god, and encouraged others to see him that way as well.
In the face of Yahweh’s obvious displays of power in the ten plagues, Pharaoh remains disobedient, cold and ruthless. He refuses to accept that he is not the master of the universe, or even his own life.
Israelites aren’t all that different, they look like they are being obedient, acknowledging God’s power and wisdom by following his cloud and flame into the desert, but the moment they look to be in danger, they consider turning around, surrendering and becoming slaves again.
With their actions, they show they don’t really trust and believe in God’s love and care for them.
Question: What ways do people today act like God isn’t there, is powerless, or not to be trusted?