Your sea should part, too.
Admit there have been times in your life when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place.
Your white-knuckled, tight-belly feeling is similar to the one Moses experienced when his two options presented themselves. The Red Sea stretched before him. The crushing Egyptian army closed in behind him.
Wouldn’t it have been nifty if God just so happened to have enough ships on the shoreline for Moses and the people of Israel to just sail away? This would leave the Egyptians and their angry pursuit alone on the beach for pick-up sand volleyball games and other fun-in-the-sun activities.
But that’s not how the story goes.
This isn’t necessarily how your story goes, either.
Something deeply personal happens in the parting of the Red Sea narrative. Moses alone raises his hand over the water (Exodus 14:21).
Just imagine this significant moment for a moment. Don’t rush ahead. What was Moses thinking just before he raised his hand and the staff in it?
Before we answer, consider Peter in the New Testament. He, too, has significant moments. In Acts 3, Peter heals a crippled beggar. In Acts 5, people with maladies are brought to the street in the hope that Peter’s shadow might fall upon the afflicted. Acts 5: 16 reads that all (in the street) are healed. In Acts 9, he restores Tabitha (also known as Dorcas) from death to life.
I mention Peter because the one known as the Rock accompanies Jesus for three very crucial, very intimate years. In this time, Peter sees Jesus’ miracle healings firsthand. In addition to being present when Jesus turns water to wine (John 2:1-10), Peter is on a sacred mountain when Jesus transfigures into a dazzling white countenance in the company of Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36). Peter is also in the boat when Jesus immediately calms the angry sea (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41). Additionally, he witnesses the death-to-life miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).
It is true that Moses experiences God in the burning bush (Exodus 3). Here we learn that God identifies God’s self as the Great “I AM.” God’s directives to Moses at this point are just as clear as God’s direction to Moses parting the Red Sea. I’ll paraphrase here, but God says, “Just do it,” to Moses. The sea before him will immediately divide and enable Moses and the people of Israel to cross safely on dry ground. The sea will also close over those who pursue them.
Hear this as if for the first time. “Hold your hand over water,” God is saying, “and it will part.”
Pause here. I ask you to do this because I know a justice-seeking, mercy-leading God. I also know too many of us won’t raise our hands so that God can be God and make a way.
Let me be clear. God, the Great I AM, can part any problem. God doesn’t need us to be God. Just think of creation. He can (and He has) done this all on His own.
But God uses us to make problems divide.
So, what problem do you have? What injustice do you experience? Where can the mercy of God be known in what is happening around you today?
Remember, Moses came through this dry. Not a single drop of sea water ever saturated his shoulder.
I can’t say that what happened to Moses will happen to you, but I can say that through you God is at work. I can say that God is aware of the situation you are in and God wants life to come from whatever type of death you are experiencing.
Don’t be silent. Don’t be still. Raise your hand. In the paraphrase I mentioned earlier, hear God say to you, “Just do it.”
You may not have an ocean before you. A fully-charged mob of highly-skilled warriors may not be closing in behind you, but with God, your sea will part, too.