Exodus 15: 1-11 (NRSV)
15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my might,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
4 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power—
your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.
7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.
8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
Over the years scholars have debated how the miracle at the Red Sea happened, when the Lord parted the sea and the Israelites crossed into safety and freedom. Some have said that the Israelites didn’t actually cross the main part of the Red Sea, but at one of the dried-up marshes north of it. Others have thought it was maybe a shallow area of the sea that they waded through. However, the Bible specifically says the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it to dry land. Then after all the Israelites crossed over the Lord let the sea back drowning all the Egyptians and their horses. This wouldn’t have been possible in dried up areas or shallow water.
A few weeks ago, I watched a TV show that tried to explain the miracle that happened at the Red Sea. Through computer modelling scientists were able to show how a weather phenomenon could have happened within the region, causing the east wind to blow the sea back to expose dry land. However, the scientists admitted that this weather phenomenon was extremely rare and the chances of it happening in that specific region were in the likelihood of once every few thousand years. So, it would have been a miracle itself that this weather phenomenon happened at the precise time when the Israelites needed to cross the Red Sea to escape the Egyptians!
It made me wonder why some people find it easier to accept a rare miracle of science, over a miracle of God? And do we really need to understand how God ‘did it’? Can’t we just accept it as a miracle? For God’s power and might is beyond our human understanding. We are people of faith and faith is stepping out trusting in God.
Even though he had the fate of a nation on his shoulders, Moses didn’t question God’s instructions. He didn’t ask God ‘How are you going to make this happen?’ He trusted and obeyed what God was asking him to do.
O Lord, there is none like you,
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders throughout our world
and in our daily lives.