Wouldn’t it have been amazing to have been one of the Children of Israel who actually walked through the Red Sea the day God parted it for them? I imagine being caught up in the escape from Egypt. All of us had been only used to behaving as slaves, yet here we were, having seen the tables turn. The Egyptians were scared of us due to the plagues that had hit their land, their livelihoods, and their very lives. In essence, they had begged us to leave, had even given us their best parting gifts to get the heck out. And so we had happily obliged.
Oh, but Pharaoh had one more trick up the sleeve of his ornate robe. He must have got to thinking about how releasing his entire work force would affect the Egyptian economy. The thoughts of his financial demise mingled with the grief he was still reeling from due to the death of his own son, the crown prince, thanks to that last plague brought on by the Hebrew God, and he lashed out. Pharaoh ordered his army to pursue us. The joy of our escape turned to horror at the prospect of being killed by the Egyptian soldiers. But God came through again, and now we were running on dry ground across the Red Sea with two walls of water standing up on either side of us. As we ran, we could glimpse the oceans’ creatures staring at us as if we were the ones in a tank, wondering why their swim up or down stream had been interrupted.
Then, after the last Hebrew clambered up the opposite bank, we looked back to see that the Egyptian army had decided to use our escape route to chase us. Horses and chariots were racing toward us fast.
Then something happened. All of a sudden, the chariots’ wheels began to just fall off of the chariots. The horses continued to try to drag them and their drivers, but it was no use. The army began to bunch up on each other. God then told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen” (Exodus 14:26 NKJ). To our utter amazement, the entire Egyptian army drowned, just like that.
Oh, we sang and danced and rejoiced then. We knew for sure that we were really free. But just three days later, as we came upon a placed called Marah, we seem to have forgotten all of that. We were thirsty and complained to Moses because the water there was bitter. God was testing us and we failed. Rather than just telling Him of our need and trusting Him based upon what we had seen Him do for us in the past, we got ugly and unruly.
About two-and-a-half months later, God tested us again at the Wilderness of Sin, this time using hunger. And again, instead of remembering our release from Egypt and victory at the Red Sea, we complained, even saying it would have been better if we had died in Egypt! (See Exodus 16:3.) What a slap in God’s face! How soon we had forgotten. Nevertheless, God not only sweetened the waters of Marah, but he led us to a campsite where there were “twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees” (Exodus 15:27). Now, we not only had water, but we also had shade from the brutal sun of the wilderness. And to address our hunger argument, God supplied fresh manna (bread) every morning and quail for meat every night. (See Exodus 15 and 16 for the entire story.)
Well, those of us reading this devotion weren’t there to run through the Red Sea, but we have experienced God’s deliverance from our own haters, problems, and bondages. And we weren’t there to feel the thirst at Marah, or suffer with hunger pangs at the Wilderness of Sin, but we have had troubling times. Have we learned to simply trust God instead of complaining? Can we look back on the big things God has done for us and rest in the fact that He can certainly handle the little, day-to-day traumas we face? How soon we forget. Let’s start practicing turning our stresses over to the One who can abundantly handle them.
©2019 Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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