By TAHREN TERRELL BRANDON
Imagine being stuck between your mortal enemy and a massive body of water. It’s just you, your family, everyone you know and everything you own. The Israelites found themselves in this exact predicament. Leaving Egypt, listening to Moses, following God, it all seemed like a good idea at first but now they had come to a dead end. The Egyptians, who hours ago were so eager for them to leave town, were now hunting them down (Ex. 12-14). At least Moses was a solid leader, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today,” he said to them (Ex. 14:13). Moses was on a need to know basis with the Lord and at that point all he needed to know was that God hadn't brought them this far to leave them now. Moses had confidence in God's plan, whatever it was, and faith that God would come through.
And He did, God came through, we all know the story. God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites escaped their enemy, but what must have gone through their heads as they were walking down the middle of the Red Sea? Think about it, they were walking along a path that minutes ago had been occupied by engulfing waters, waters that now stood on either side of them, waiting to come crashing down. There was no dam, no physical structure to reassure them that the waters wouldn’t give way. Pharaoh and his army were hot on their trail and with one massive wall of water on either side and no dam to hold it back, all they could do was trust in God.
A dam is a large wall or barrier that blocks or stops the flow of water. There was no large wall that day when the Red Sea was parted. God separated the waves of the treacherous sea with His voice and commanded the wind to hold them at bay. There was no barrier blocking the flow of water, just the magnificent power of Almighty God causing the waters to stand at attention for His people. There is no doubt that God has had to part a Red Sea or two, or three in our lives and the test of faith comes when there is no dam, no physical structure for us to look to. Like the Israelites, we have to trust in the awesome power of God to hold back the waters and keep them from crashing down over our lives.
But sometimes we find ourselves trusting in our own power, in the dams that we have built for ourselves. We have stored up our earthly treasures to create solid financial dams. We have used our charm and wit to build relationship dams, our hard work, intelligence and determination to construct career dams and we have loaded up on green shakes and Zumba classes to create our good health dams. So far, our dams have done a good job of protecting us from unemployment, financial ruin, health problems, and rocky relationships. But what happens when there is trouble on every side? When the problems we face are so overwhelming that the dams we have in place break?
Meanwhile, back at the Red Sea, the Children of Israel pressed forward, their enemies following closely behind. Pharaoh obviously had not learned his lesson. He and his men were in the middle of the Red Sea, utilizing the path God had made for His children; surely, he didn't think they could use the same short cut God had designed for His people. No worries, they were about to be destroyed. All of a sudden, the same walls of water that stood at attention for the Children of Israel, went limp and wiped out Pharaoh and his men. Salvation for the Israelites was judgement for the enemy. Gods people watched safely from the other side as their enemies washed up on shore. God, all by Himself, had led His people to life and liberty outside of Egypt.
Our personal and social dams are breaking. The systems that have been put into place to carry us through life are failing. There are terrifying things behind and on either side of us, but there is hope in Jesus Christ. The only certainty the Israelites had that the waters of the Red Sea wouldn't crash down on them was the fact that God had started them down that path. If God has made a way for you, charted a path for you to take, then trust that to be His way of deliverance. Forge ahead knowing that no enemy behind you or at either side can overtake you. If God parted the sea, you’ve already got the victory.