A ritual is established and explained to the Israelites. Just as God sacrificed the first born of Egypt to redeem the Hebrews, so they will sacrifice their first born livestock to redeem their children. It is just one of many symbols of how we are to act like Christ.
God leads them safely through day and night. He leads them on the longer path that is less likely to bring them war. Its cool that He knew that the shorter, easier path was not the safest and ensured them safe passage. God hardens Pharaoh's heart again and he pursues them into the desert. The Israelites cry out, wondering why Moses didn't just leave them alone. Moses reassures them that God will bring deliverance and not allow harm to come to them.
Its so easy being the reader. I want to shake them and say don't you realize that there is basically heaven on earth waiting for you?! Just push through it and it will all be yours! But I've been an Israelite in the desert, and I know exactly how it feels to not see an end in sight and wonder, "God, why did you bring me out here?!". This story has been a great encouragement for me to keep my eyes on the prize and not gripe about the daily struggles.
The Lord parts the Red Sea and the Israelites are granted safe passage while the entire Egyptian army perishes when the waters crash back. The parting of the Red Sea is something that is so easy to forget what a BIG DEAL it is....we are not talking about the creek or pond in your backyard. We are talking about an ENTIRE SEA!!! Can you imagine the amount of faith it took for the Israelites to take that first step, wondering all the while if the water walls are going to come crashing down?? I've always wondered what the water walls looked like... was it like an aquarium? Could you see the fish and creatures swimming around on the other side? Or was it just like water blasting up from the ocean floor creating an inverse tidal wave? So many things to think about...
Israel sings and give praises to God, which is short lived once they go without water for 3 days. Of course, the Lord provides them with sweet water and quenches their thirst. I am again dumbfounded at how easily they become displeased.
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