Other than the resurrection of Jesus, this is the greatest miracle in the Bible. The reason for that is that this one miracle saved the lives of millions of people. It brought about the covenant people of God and was essential to even our salvation.
Exodus 14:10-16 NKJV (10) And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. (11) Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? (12) Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” (13) And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. (14) The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (15) And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. (16) But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
God seems to be a specialist in this one thing and that is it seems like he waits until the last minute to work a miracle.
We like to avoid those difficult situations. We would prefer that everything happen quickly and instantly.
Anytime you are coming out of a place of bondage and in particular a place where it really was not necessarily the will of God for you to be, you will very often see a great deliverance take place.
You see when the Children of Israel get into the Promised Land and are where God wanted them to be, the last-minute provision thing stops and they are living the way God intended for them to live: off of the blessing and increase of that place.
The reason that He waited until the last minute was not necessarily to put His people in such an uncomfortable position, but it was to deal a death-blow to Pharaoh.
Pharaoh was determined to kill these people so if God did not handle it this way, He was going to have to do something later.
God led the people right up to this point because they could have gone up through the land of the Philistines and the people would not have been able to fight them.
Exodus 13:17 NKJV (17) Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”
There are times in our walk with God that it seems like we have come up to a dead end and there is nowhere to turn.
God always has a plan.
He never leads you to a dead end. It might look like a dead end to you, but it is not. It is only because you cannot see the full picture.
The Lord leads and guides us in a place where He can do a great work.
(This whole incident is really a beautiful picture of the work of Christ on the Cross and our Redemption. Jesus died at exactly the time that the Passover Lamb was killed, and He was raised from the dead on the third morning at the same time that Pharaoh and his chariots were drowned in the Red Sea.)
This was the song of celebration that the people lifted up before the Lord to celebrate this great thing that God had done for them.
God delivered them because of a promise He made to Abraham.
That is the real reason that He brings deliverance to us is because of the covenant that He made with Abraham.
God tells Abraham about the Children of Israel and makes the promise that He is going to deliver them.
Genesis 15:12-16 NKJV (12) Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. (13) Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. (14) And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. (15) Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. (16) But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
Even what God does for us goes back to the covenant that God had with Abraham and the fact that we through Christ have been made Abraham’s seed and joint heirs.
The Children of Israel were not delivered because they were great people of faith. They were not.
Exodus 15:22-27 NKJV (22) So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. (23) Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. (24) And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” (25) So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, (26) and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (27) Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
The children of Israel were just three days earlier were celebrating the wonderful things that the Lord had done for them and now they have so quickly forgotten all that the Lord had done for them.
Exodus 16:1-3 NKJV (1) And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. (2) Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. (3) And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
There were times when God’s works were obvious. Then it seems like He is not doing anything at all, or it seems like He has quit moving.
What this means is that you and I have to switch over to faith. A lot of times when things are happening so easily and God is moving so readily, very little faith, if any, is involved.
But when it seems like He has quit moving or is not doing anything at all is when we have to switch gears and get into faith mode.
We have to switch over to a thanksgiving and praise mode until something changes.
The children of Israel began murmuring. Murmuring is when we take our complaints to someone who really cannot do anything about our situation except the one who can actually fix the situation.
They thought they were better off back in Egypt and said so. They had moved over from murmuring to tempting God.
There may be times when we are going through tough times but don’t ever allow yourself to think that it was better when you were living in sin than living for God. You have totally forgotten the eternal aspect.
It was never God’s intention that they stay in the wilderness. It was intended for a place of transition only. That is why it was not a “land that flows with milk and honey”. (Deuteronomy 11:21)
It was always His intention that they go to the land of Canaan and take what He had promised them, but they were too afraid to go.
God allowed them to wander around in the wilderness with the bare essentials because it was not where He wanted them to be.
When they arrived in the land of Canaan, they had more than enough of everything they could need and want.
What do you do when you are walking with God and all of a sudden you hit a hard spot?
Acts 5:40-42 (41) So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
When you take the right approach, God will move in such a way that it will not only cause you to triumph but will open the way for others to benefit from His moving.