The parting of the Red Sea is such a grand story, isn’t it? I always remember learning about it in Sunday school as a little girl. You know how it goes… the Egyptians chase down the Israelites, God parts the Red Sea, the Israelites walk through and poof – a great story is born. Is this story relevant for us today? I mean, do I think I’ll find myself in this situation? Confronted with moments of great fear? Yes. Constantly.
So there stand the Israelites trapped between the Red Sea and all Pharaoh’s army – ALL of his army. God positioned the Israelites directly opposite Baal Zephon. Why is that relevant? Because Baal Zephon was a sea god to the Egyptians. Did you know that? God strategically put the Israelites there on purpose. He purposely trapped them between a powerful army and their god. You see, God did not look down and say, “Oh goodness! I better do something here to save these people! Hey, I’ll just open up this sea and they can pass on through!” No. Genesis 15:14 already told them that God would punish the nation they served and would bring them out with great possessions. He also states in Exodus 14 that He would gain glory and the Egyptians would know that he is the one and only God. And, boy, He delivers, doesn’t He! That made-up god of Baal Zephon was useless. Useless! God completely delivers the Israelites and annihilates Pharaoh and his army. In the words of my children, “What now, oh, Baal Zephon!” Don’t you just love how God orchestrates everything? He is a God of details. Make no mistake about that.
You know, there are times we all wish we had eyes in the back of our heads. Don’t we joke about this? We think it would be really convenient when actually it would cause us utter confusion. As I was pondering this story the Lord said to me, “What if no one turned to look?” What if none of the Israelites took their eye off the enemy, their fear, and looked toward the impossible? Can you picture this? They couldn’t look at both because they did not have eyes in the back of their heads. They had to choose. It was physically impossible for them to look both at the enemy and the miracle, right? Moses raised his staff per the direction of the Lord and the sea parted. Someone had to turn and look to see it. They had to turn their back on their fear and look to the impossible which became the miracle.
The enemy always belongs behind us! Matthew 16:23 tells us this: Get thee behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. We are not to have in mind the things of men. We are not to be afraid. We are to have in mind the things of God. Put God in your mind. Put Him in your heart. Refuse to look anywhere else.
I pray this story will encourage you to look to God. Don’t miss the miracles. Find them in the difficult. God does not know difficult. Is nothing too hard for him?
Remember this song?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.