• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 22, 2021

Daily Reading: Exodus 13-15

Exodus 14:16

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

No Way! "There is no way that we can walk across the Red Sea on dry ground, I don't care what you say that God told you to do!" I can hear it now, can't you? After all, who ever heard of such a thing happening. That a man could stretch out his hand over the sea and the sea divide. Not to mention that when the sea divided that there would be dry ground underneath it to make a path to the other side. Impossible. The people that followed Moses must have thought that he had lost his mind. Here they are, being followed by a great and angry army, the mountains on one side, the sea on the other, they could not turn left, right, go forward, nor could they turn back for the army of Pharaoh was on their heels. Now, their leader says that God will part the sea and they will walk to the other side on dry ground. Again...No Way!

But there was a way. God made a way. It’s no wonder that in the New Testament the Lord is called "The Way" (John 14:6). He always makes a way. Time after time, in miraculous and impossible ways, God makes a way for His people. The greatest "Way" that God made for His people is not the parting of the Red Sea, but rather the bringing together again of fallen man with His perfect self. He did this for Adam and Eve. Their sin separated them from God and eternal life. But He came down to them and made a way of reconciliation. Today, sin also separates every person from God, but He has made a Way for God and every person to be reconciled. That Way is Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Yet, even today, many are like the Israelites. They didn't believe that God could part the sea so that they could cross over to the other side. Likewise, today many do not believe that through faith and faith alone God can part the sea of sin that separates us from Him and allow us to come over to the other side of life, which is eternal life. But He can do this. He brings, and will bring, His children to the other side just as miraculously and unbelievably as He did the Israelites at the Red Sea. All we have to do is go. By faith just go. Just obey Him by faith, believe Him, accept Him, and just go. Yes the Gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is that powerful.

But wait. Hold on. There is another similarity between New Testament believers and the Israelites in the book of Exodus. After they passed over on dry ground and watched God overthrow the Egyptian army in the midst of the sea Exodus 14:31 relates: And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses. They believed the Lord, but then in the next chapter, after three days of thirst, they come to Marah. Marah had water but it was bitter, and they could not drink it. It was there, just a few days after crossing the Red Sea on dry ground that they began to murmur. Couldn't they see it? If God could dry up water, He could bring forth water. But instead of faith, they slipped back to the natural world of living by sight instead of by faith. In His patient love toward them, God once again showed Himself strong on their behalf and inexplicably had Moses throw a tree in the water that healed it of its bitterness.

Before judging them too harshly for their unbelief, or rather their short-term belief. Realize that oftentimes, we do the same thing. We trust God, but then begin looking at things in the natural way. Just like Peter when he was walking on the water. Or just like the man who told Jesus, I believe, help thou mine unbelief. At least he was honest about his unbelief, which is the first step to understanding the way back to belief, but that is a thought for another day. Until then.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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