The Red Sea
Soon after leaving Egypt, God led the Israelites to the Red Sea. By this time the Egyptian army was chasing after them because Pharaoh had changed his mind (again). God instructed Moses on what to do with his rod and he simply obeyed. As a result the Red Sea was split by a miraculous wind which allowed the Israelites to pass through to the other side safely. An important lesson to be learned from this is the unlimited ability of God to save you regardless of your circumstances (Ephesians 3:20). Never doubt because He is always able (Luke 1:37).
Often God deals with us as He did with the Israelites, He leads us to a place where we are unable to do anything so that He can show His ability and love to us. However, we often misinterpret this situation and feel abandoned by God, unsuccessful in our faith, or trapped without a solution. This is the farthest thing from the truth! God is willing and able to save you from any situation. Now I am not an advocate for “anything bad that happens in your life is from God” but I do believe that the bad things that happen, God can use them for His glory and your growth. These places can be the most uncomfortable to be in but they are the best for your faith. When we are trapped between our Enemy and a sea there we must fully rely on God to save us. We often have no other choice. The way we behave in these hard times decides if we mature in faith or not. Throughout the Bible there have been many impossible situations such as God’s promise of a son to old Abraham (Genesis 15), Mary’s virgin birth (Luke 1), and Jesus’ call for Peter to walk on the water (Matthew 14). Perhaps God led Israel to the Red Sea so that they could see the faithfulness of God and begin their journey with faith in God.
There have been many secular attempts to rationalize this event as not a miraculous one but a natural or exaggerated one. Some sources believe that the crossing of the Red Sea was no more than a stroll across a shallow spot of the Red Sea with the help of some natural wind that made the water even shallower. To this reasoning it leaves one to wonder how an entire Egyptian army drowned in only a few feet of water. The other problem with a scientific look at this miracle is one of the sea bed, the Bible reports it as being dry and able to be walked on, normally the sea bed is wet, mud like, and unsafe to walk on. But God not only moved the water away from their path but also the water from beneath their feet.
This amazing event of the children of God passing through the water after receiving freedom is a prophetic picture of Baptism (1Peter 3:20-21). Those who were rescued from slavery went through the water and the enemy was destroyed behind them. It is important to note that the act of being baptized is not a requirement of salvation. If we had to enter water to be saved it would be a work of the flesh to be saved and not an issue of confessing and believing as the Bible says it is (Ephesians 2:9, Romans 10:9). What if there was no water around? Could one not be saved from their sins? Certainly not. What about the thief on the cross whom Jesus promised? He surely was not baptized before he died on that cross, but he was promised eternal life. It is easy to see the many examples of salvation in the New Testament which were not accompanied by water immersion. Therefore baptism is not salvation but a public display of ones forgiveness from sin and the wages of them.
Complaints of Freedom
There had been many times where the tribes of Israel complained about their uncomfortable surroundings of the desert. They complained about not having water or food, both of which God later provided. A few times they even display regret about leaving Egypt! This might seem crazy because you may think “what could be better than to be free from slavery and injustice?” None the less, the Israelites actually wished they were back in Egypt because there they had food and water provided for them. They had become so accustomed to the provisions of Pharaoh that they didn’t have enough faith to trust in God for what they now lacked. For those of us who have been saved from a lifestyle of worldly riches or worldly pleasures we may find ourselves in a similar situation. We may complain, wishing we still had what we had “back then”. Many Christians, in times of struggle, have reverted to their old ways simply because they miss the provision and comfort of their Egypt. However, we need to first realize that if we need something, all we must do is ask for it in prayer and faith (Matthew 7:7). Don’t fall for the trap of Satan by looking back at your old life of sin and thinking that it was a better place to be (Romans 6:2, Ephesians 4:22). Instead, look at the benefits of holiness and communion with our maker. They far outweigh the deceptive and short lived pleasures of sin and slavery. Grow in your relationship with your Savior and learn to find satisfaction in Him first and foremost (Matthew 6:33).