The story of Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is a Sunday School favourite, and one of those passages of the Old Testament that most of us don’t mind reading, coming as it does before the long lists of rules that can be such a drag to read. (But let’s not forget all scripture is God breathed….)
So you will probably be quite familiar with the whole exodus of the Israelite people from a life of slavery at the hands of the oppressive Egyptian empire. And will be well aware of how that exodus brought them to the Red Sea, where they find themselves trapped between the approaching Egyptian army, chasing after them on chariots, and the sea. (It’s all in Exodus 14). And then something miraculous happens. God speaks, Moses listens and the sea is parted. The Israelites start to walk across the sea bed. Where before they where trapped God has opened up a path in the midst of their despair. And if today you are finding yourself in a similar situation of despair or uncertainty, remember that God hears you when you cry out to Him and He will open up a path for you, for He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you (Jeremiah 29)
There is an old Rabbi custom about this moment. It’s not in the Bible, so may not be true, but it certainly doesn’t seem out of character for the Israelites. See the rabbis have this parable about what happened as the people started walking across the sea bed. The Israelites started to grumble and complain that they were getting mud on their sandals. They had got totally the wrong perceptive. They were in the middle of one of the big miracles of all time, and all they cared about was getting mud on their shoes. Rather than seeing the walls of water God was holding back to their sides all they could see was that once they got to the other side they would have to do some major sandal cleaning.
And I wonder if that can happen to us. Do we spend so long looking down at ourselves, focusing on our own grievances that we miss the things God is doing around us? Is it time for us to look up from the mud on our feet to see the walls of water held back around us? Because when our perspective is right, suddenly our grievances don’t seem that important in the scale of eternity. As it says in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”