As we have seen throughout the story of Exodus, the Israelites are stuck. Stuck in part from their circumstances of slavery and partly stuck because of fear. How so? Consider their choice in living a life of slavery, making bricks for an oppressive ruler over a life of freedom. This choice often led them to death. As we read through Exodus 14, we see that they finally choose differently. They choose freedom. The result? They become trapped; hemmed in by the Red Sea in front of them and the entire Egyptian army not far behind. Not only that, the Egyptians were on horses and in chariots, brandishing spears, arrows, sharp swords and all other life removing apparatuses. They could feel their impending slaughter. It would be easy.
What do the Israelites do? Chicken out! Reverting to their old behaviors, they rely on their own, severely limited, understanding. These limitations create fear, causing them to regress to their old ways. They discard the hope they received, replacing it with the relative comfort of what they know; slavery. Thankfully, God intervenes in their weakness. He really is patient and has a deep desire to see all of us live a free life in Him (2 Peter 3:9)
The rest of the story is obvious. God steps up in a way that nobody else could, performing the life-saving and mind-blowing miracle of dividing the Red Sea. This act enables the Israelites to walk to freedom on dry ground. Now, if you are like me, you will give a quick shout out for the Israelites and a fist pump for an awesome victory. But… it doesn’t really impact my life today. Or does it? This is precisely where our journey collides with the Israelites.
In many ways, I find myself standing around waiting for God to move between me and the enemy, so that I can live the life that I have always wanted. He waits; patiently. I am allowed to remain in slavery, maintaining the habits and lifestyle that I have always tolerated because I fear the unknown. Today, I am sure that the hitch in my Spirit is God telling me that He has something more if I will only follow. He tells me that I can be freed from my slavery in an instant, but it’s not the way that I expect. In fact, I have been looking for a 12-step plan or a 21-day program. Instead, he provides my own life-giving and mind-blowing miracle. This miracle, however, is bigger and better than the parting of the Red Sea. God sent his only son to suffer, die and rise again. Why? So that I might be free to live life abundantly (John 10:10). Re-reading Exodus 14 with my miracle in mind, I see:
the Lord saved ME (Israel) that day from the hand of slavery (the Egyptians), and I (Israel) saw the enemy (Egyptians) dead on the seashore. I (Israel) saw the great power that the Lord used against my enemy (the Egyptians). (Exodus 14:30-31 ESV)
Do you see it too? Can you hear God calling you to the Cross? Remember, He has risen! It is time. Move forward. “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. His promise gives firm footing, not in mud, but on dry ground. True Freedom! (Exodus 14:15 ESV)