There’s lots of talk lately of a “Red Sea Moment” — when things look impossible, and they are. But GOD. Nothing is impossible for God.
The following is Chapter 14 from my eBook, Arm Wrestling with Pharaoh. My usual method of Bible study is to put the scripture first, and then my comments in bold.
Chapter 14 – The Chase into the Red Sea
Exodus Chapter 14
1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-zephon: before it shall you encamp by the sea.
The Lord tells Moses to lead the children of Israel to the sea.
3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.
Pharaoh is going to think that the children of Israel are trapped. He thinks he has them pinned.
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honored upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.
5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?
It’s like Pharaoh wakes up from a dream and says, “Why have we let them go?”
6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:
7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over very one of them.
8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with a high hand.
Pharaoh and his six hundred chariots pursue the Israelites.
9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
First, the Israelites cry out to the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Then, they turn and start blaming everything on Moses. The Lord hasn’t had a chance to answer yet. (We do this all the time, yes we do.)
12 Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
“We should have stayed in Egypt, and died there.” It’s hard to think positive and think towards a big open future when someone has been in captivity for so long.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see
them again no more forever.
14 The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.
“Don’t worry, the Lord will get us out of this mess.” “Lord, what are you going to do?”
15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore cry you unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
This is one of the times the Lord says, “Stop telling me, and go DO something. Tell them to go forward.”
16 But lift you up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
“Raise your rod over the sea, and divide the sea. You shall go forward on dry ground.”
17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
“Pharaoh and his army are going to follow you.”
18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
“The Egyptians will finally know that I am the LORD.”
19 And the Angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
The Angel of the Lord went behind them to be their rear guard, protecting them against Pharaoh’s armies.
20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
This is another separation of darkness from light. From the beginning of time, until the end of time, God separates darkness from light.
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.
The Lord took the wheels off their chariots. The Egyptians decide to flee from Israel, but it’s too late. This is another reminder to never wait until “it’s too late” to change a situation.
26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
The Lord immediately tells Moses, “Stretch out your hand, and the waters will flood the Egyptians.”
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
The Egyptians were killed, flooded by the waters.
29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
The waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left hand.
30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
The Lord saved Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians. Those same Egyptians who had treated them so harshly were now dead, and they saw their bodies on the sea shore.
31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.
There was a great victory over the Egyptians.
God took off the chariot wheels. Why?
Moses and the Israelites fled from Pharaoh and his army into the dry land of what was, hours before, the Red Sea. The Egyptians pursued them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and army.
At this point, it looked like they would catch Moses. It looked bad. This would be the time for the Israelites to hold onto their faith that God would deliver them. It was very tempting at this point to fall into fear, rather than stand in faith.
But the Lord looked down and threw the Egyptians into a panic. He took off their chariot wheels, so that they moved with great difficulty. (Imagine driving a car with no tires.)
At this point, the Egyptians realized, “The Lord is fighting for the Israelites against us! Let us flee from them!”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters will come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.”
We know what happened. The waters covered the Egyptians and they were killed.
God could have just flooded them in mid stride, without taking off the chariot wheels first, but I believe He wanted them to understand that they were stuck. The chariots that they had trusted in were not strong enough to fight against God’s will.
If God had merely flooded them, they would not have had the opportunity to repent; they would have been merely washed away. God gave the Egyptians a small window of time to see what they did was wrong.
The Lord took off their chariot Wheels so they had time to think about what they were doing and to see that it was against His will.
—From Arm Wrestling with Pharaoh, by SueAnn Porter, copyright 2017.
A Red Sea Moment is when only God can step in and save us. We do everything we know how to do, we pray, we trust God, and we believe that God will deliver us in His time, and by His method.
Read more here: Arm Wrestling with Pharaoh