Every believer at one point or another has a Red Sea moment, a situation from which there is no escape, and only an undeniable act of God can lead you safely out.
Throughout Scripture, we witness Gods numerous miracles. But with all the miracles of the Bible, the exodus from Egypt is the one that most defines God’s redemptive plan…
Between an Army and the Sea
In Exodus chapter 14, the Israelites are fleeing from Egypt when they found themselves on the verge of being brought back into slavery or even killed. The sea in front of them and an army behind them, they felt hopeless and impossibly trapped.
We likewise find ourselves in places where there is no solution, no answer, and no way out.
In the case of the Israelites, their freedom and their very lives were all but lost. An entire nation of people were given a taste of freedom only to now find themselves at a dead end, the enemy closing in, and no escape. There was nothing to save them – apart from an act of God.
Between the Red Sea and the army that brings death is not a good place to be.
It is a scary place to be.
When I find myself in a Red Sea moment, I don’t typically anticipate the sea drying up and everything turning out ok. I don’t expect to walk out on dry land where there was a sea. I can’t imagine a scenario where the powerful army of Pharaoh is going to be swallowed up in defeat. What I do see are bills that are due, I see danger, I see pain, I see discouragement, I see defeat, and it is all I can do to decide if I am going to swing away at the enemy knowing I am not going to make a dent, or just toss aside all God has taught me over a lifetime and surrender.
But the most overlooked aspect of the Red Sea moment is this: it was God who put them there.
It Was On Purpose
God intentionally put them there, and God who knew exactly how this was going to play out. There was never a doubt.
Never. A. Single. Doubt.
Could it be that we find ourselves standing between the sea and an approaching army because God puts us there on purpose?
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
God knew the result. All along. He planned it.
However, staring down the barrel of a certain defeat, the Israelites who had seen God perform astounding miracles to provide their freedom now questioned everything about him and everything about their future:
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Learning to be Still
Maybe, just maybe, they thought, the past wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe slavery was better than uncertainty and defeat and whatever punishment was waiting for them back in Egypt. These people cried out daily for deliverance, yet when deliverance came they did not at all like what it looked like. There was finger-pointing, there was second guessing, but the fact is that God placed them in that exact spot in that exact moment so that he could perform a miracle that would define himself and his people forever.
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
It is not up to us to fight, it is up to us to follow. We have to trust that God not only knows our situation but knows the outcome. The ability to be still when everything in you is screaming to do anything but be still is the essence of faith, and it is then that we see the greatest miracles.
Your Defining Moment
Your Red Sea moment could well be your defining moment. Do you want your life to be a testimony of God’s greatness? Get ready for God to position you by the sea.
Are you asking God to work in mighty ways in your life? Get ready for the sound of Pharaoh’s army approaching from behind.
And then grasp on to him tightly in prayer.
God occasionally wants us in a position where we have no way out, no solution, no options, no choice but to trust in Him. As frightening as it is, most miracles only come when we need a miracle.
David slaying Goliath. The walls of Jericho falling. Daniel in the lion’s den. Jesus rising from the dead. And the parting of the sea:
30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
When God has us firmly entrenched in a Red Sea moment, it requires much prayer, much faith, and much trust. Our deliverance is not going to come quickly or easily, but it will come in such a way that God is glorified. It will become a moment that sustains you through a lifetime of pain and a moment that can be celebrated in times of joy. It’s ok to be afraid, but not ok to let that fear overtake your faith. For faith is stronger than our fear, and God is stronger than any situation we face.
[written by Jason Soroski]