What’s Your Red Sea?

Jen’s Gem: Trust God to get you through.

In my women’s Bible study class, we are taking a deep dive into the book of Exodus. If you’re not familiar with this particular book of the Bible, it’s pretty much the basis of the movie, “The Ten Commandments.” It focuses on the times of Moses and the plights of the Israelites as they sought to escape their life of bondage in Egypt.

For hundreds of years, this group of people did hard labor under the tyrannical rule of the Egyptian Pharaoh. They built cities from bricks, day after day after day. They were yelled at, ridiculed, beaten, and mistreated. The Israelites prayed for someone to deliver them from this mess and one day…Moses appeared on the scene.

Perhaps, like me, you have a fixated image in your mind that Charlton Heston is Moses. I cannot seem to separate the two people and I’m certain that one day when I meet Moses, I’m going to be in for quite a surprise. (Or not!)

It would take about ten blog posts to share the details of this story, so let’s jump to the spoiler alert. Moses gets them out of Egypt and they’re on their way to the Promised Land.  No more taskmasters. No more Egypt. Their breakthrough is in their sights. What a glorious day that must’ve been!

Just as they’re about to kick Egypt to the curb, they come face to face with the Red Sea. A quick Google search tells me that the distance they traveled is about 665 miles. Can you imagine traveling all that way and then hitting this major roadblock? Did Moses forget to check the GPS? Did he take a wrong turn at pyramid number three?

So here are about 2.5 million people in the biggest traffic jam ever. They are literally at a dead stop with nowhere to go. There’s no way out. They have a few choices: 

  1. Turn around and go back to their life of bondage (if they even survive the journey).
  2. Stay where they are and await their doom at the hand of the Egyptians.
  3. Pray for a deliverer. (Perhaps one with a better sense of direction than Moses.)

At God’s command, Moses stretches out his rod across the raging waters. They separate and a clear, dry path appears in front of the crowd. The Israelites begin their trek through the massive Red Sea and make it safely to the other side.

Those crazy Egyptians who chased after them thought the waters would remain parted so they could 

slaughter the Israelites and get a big fat reward from their king. Alas, they met their demise as the waters engulfed them. Their days of “walking like an Egyptian” were over.

Here’s what I find interesting about this story. God could’ve done any number of things to remove this obstacle. He could have: 

  1. Killed all of the Egyptians before they even got out of town.
  2. Enabled the Israelites to walk over the waters similar to Peter some thousand years later.
  3. Snapped His fingers and made the Red Sea disappear.

God did none of these things, yet everyone survived. They made it through.

Often times, when faced with our own “Red Sea,” we want God to do one of the three things mentioned above: 

  1. Get rid of the past actions or words that got us into the pickle we’re in.
  2. Skate over it and come out the other side smelling like roses.
  3. Make it disappear.

Personally, I like option number three. I prefer God to put on His “Abracadabra” hat and with a wiggle of His nose or a snap of His fingers, just make it all go away. While He is certainly capable of this, it’s not His standard response. Why?

Let’s unpack that looming question by returning to the original Red Sea scenario. If God had blotted the Red Sea from existence, the Israelites would not have had the opportunity to build their trust in God through their journey. With every step they took through the Red Sea, they had to believe that God would hold those waters back. They certainly couldn’t do it themselves. Moses (Charlton) couldn’t do it. Only God could.

This is what God wants. He wants us to trust Him every step of the way, whether we are facing a Red Sea season or enjoying our own version of the Promised Land. Trust is the foundation of any relationship and that is God’s deepest desire – to have a relationship with His children. 

I’m dealing with a few of my own “Red Seas” at the moment. I’d so love for God to “poof” them out of existence. But each day, I place my trust in Him to get me through. The good news (great news actually) is that I don’t need a deliverer like Moses to speak to God on my behalf. I – and you – have the best and only true Deliverer – Jesus.

See ya later, Charlton.

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