Walking On Dry Ground

When the Israelites left Egypt, the Bible tells us that God took them on a roundabout way through the wilderness, instead of along the most direct route to the Promised Land. God did this to avoid their getting entrenched in war with the Philistines, and changing their minds about leaving Egypt. The Bible also tells us it was God’s plan that the Israelites camp up against the Red Sea, and  Pharaoh’s army approach in an attempt to trap they there. We are given the “inside scoop,” God’s interaction with each detail of the story and his grand intention to display his glory.  But the Israelites did not have this inside angle (although God did let Moses in on part of His plan, assuring final victory over Egypt). They were thrown into a panic when they realized that their position against the Red Sea was actually going to serve as a trap. Pharaoh’s army was approaching fast. They were unprepared for war, and had no means of escape. In a panic, they cried out to Moses. Obviously their hearts were desperately afraid, and while it is easy to scorn this response, the truth is, it is a response we have all had to unexpected trials descending upon us. The Israelites might have felt as if God had dropped the ball. They certainly seemed to expect the worst. But Moses responded, “The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

And that is exactly what the Lord did. He parted the Red Sea with a great wind so that a dry path was formed in between two walls of water. Then he led the Israelites through the sea, on the dry path he had created. I am inclined to wonder if the Israelites felt fearful walking between two massive walls of water. Were they nervous the walls might cave in? Did they attempt to hold up the walls with their hands as they walked by? The Bible indicates that their crossing was an orderly event, so I don’t imagine they were running, screaming in panic as they crossed. How amazing, that they followed Moses’ instructions to “stay calm” and walked right through the sea. And what a sight, to watch those same walls come crashing down on the disoriented armies of Pharaoh sending them all to a watery death!

Looking back the Israelites could see God’s divine hand guiding each step of their journey and they gave Him praise for His miraculous salvation. Their faith was bolstered as they realized His perfect plan had been wrought on their behalf and indeed His glory had been displayed for all to see.

What I love about this story is the profound yet simple truth that one step at a time we can follow God with complete trust that He’s got the ultimate victory! As I walk through my Red Sea on the dry ground He has created, I don’t have to press against those walls of water, hoping to hold them up. I don’t have to run in panic desperately trying to reach the other side before disaster strikes. I can walk calmly and with complete confidence. My God who has ordered my steps will continue to work out His good plan, and His glory will be displayed as I walk on the dry path He has laid before me.

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