Today’s text is rich in detail. We learn about the faith of Joseph and the maturing leadership of Moses. God’s holiness is revealed as he calls Israel to consecrate all of the first born. We observe the weak, grumbling faith of the Israelites. And we are awestruck by the sheer power of God to control the Sea and destroy Pharaoh and his hosts.
If you skim to the end of today’s reading… past the crossing of the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptians, and the beautiful praise Song of Moses to verses 15:22-27, you will read of the people grumbling against their faithful God.
The people had just witnessed the most amazing display of power as God parted the Red Sea. This was the dramatic finale to the orchestra of the 10 plagues – each designed to mock the Egyptians’ gods, and to clamor that the God of Israel is supreme over all. Can you imagine the elation, the absolute relief and happiness that the Israelite people must have felt in their deliverance? Their joy is expressed beautifully in verses 15:1-18. Hear just a few…
“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them.
“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode (Exodus 15:11-13).
But after three days, only three days… The people’s faith is tested. They have no water and they come to Marah, where the water is bitter. The people grumble against Moses. Do they think God is that fickle? Do they think God would bend the waters of nature for a people just to let them die of thirst three days later? We know that God doesn’t let them die. He shows Moses how to make the water sweet and the people have their fill…
But I wonder…. Read these words of God spoken to the Israelites just three short days prior…
“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:13-14).
How would your life be different if you believed these words…I mean really believed these words? Who or what are the “Egyptians” in your life?
For me, it’s my daughter’s brain injury – and all the baggage that comes along with it. Will she ever walk again? Will she be able to read? Will she ever be independent? The uncertainty can drive me to panic. But. My faith in God’s goodness and faithfulness keeps my anxieties quiet. I choose to trust that God will work for my daughter. He will fight for her. And I will pray and watch for the Lord’s salvation – for His work to unfold in her life.
Know that God works for you. That He is mighty to save and tender in his dealings with you. Amen? Amen.