May 15, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.”—Exodus 14:26–31 (NASB)
As the Hebrews moved further into freedom and farther away from the tight place God had led them, one thing was evident: The Egyptians were still coming. I don’t know about you, but if an army of angry Egyptians were bearing down on me, you wouldn’t have to tell me twice to run.
Not so with the Hebrew people. Thousands of families who had been traveling for weeks on the cusp of freedom didn’t panic. They walked. It’s one thing to travel into freedom, but quite another to walk in it.
They marched with assurance and without fear knowing the Lord would fight for them, and they would see their salvation and never see their oppressors again (Exodus 14:13-14). Yet, no one knew how God would defeat the enemy. With faith and trust, they simply walked. To their sides, the seawalls stood for them as a bulwark, and the angel of God defended them from the back. All they saw was what lay ahead (freedom) and later what lay behind (the dead).
Now, let’s consider something more. It’s been suggested the crossing of the Red Sea is analogous to Christ’s resurrection. In both cases, the hand of God ushered in deliverance by miraculous means: the Egyptians were defeated and Satan was defeated. Even the water symbolizes a cleansing and separating effect: baptism of a nation and baptism of a person. If we take this view, then it stands that we can also walk in this freedom knowing that God has us on all sides and the enemy is subdued. Sure, Satan is there, but he has zero control. He’s desperately sinking.
Now, let’s take this even further. When the Hebrews finally moved into the land God had given them, the celebration of their journey faded to stark reality. They still had to make their way in the land. They still had battles to fight and victories to gain. It’s no different for those who follow Jesus. We have battles, we have victories, and we have no inkling how God will help us fight. We just faithfully trust He’s there on all sides. And, until Jesus returns, we’re still going to fight those spiritual battles, those daily temptations, and sometimes end up in those impossibly tight places.
But one day, one glorious day, we’ll realize our ultimate release when Christ returns and establishes His kingdom. Like the Egyptian army, death will be swallowed up in victory (Isaiah 25:8), the God of peace will crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20), and we can stand with Jesus and shout, “Oh death, where is your victory? Oh, death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV). Until that day, let’s walk in faith with the assurance of hope and the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
Pause: Jesus never hurried; He never ran from town to town. Why do you think He kept such a steady pace?
Practice: It’s been said that busyness is one of the biggest barriers to developing close relationships, especially with the Lord. If this is you, think of ways you can slow down or carve out time for Jesus.
Pray: Lord Jesus, by Your death and resurrection, I am made free. By Your Spirit, I can walk in that freedom. By Your will and for Your glory, I will trust You in every battle and look for You in the tight places. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.