Weekly Devotion – Exodus 14:21-22

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 14:21-22, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”

Back in verse 16 the Lord told Moses to stretch out his hand and raise his staff. And when Moses does, a miracle happens. A strong east wind began to blow, and the waters divided. As best I could tell from internet maps, the Red Sea seems to run NNW to SSE. So a strong east wind would, more or less, blow across the waters. And that seems to fit the narrative, with a wall of water on each side. The waters were not blown to one side or the other, but rather a dry path appeared between the walls of water. For those of us with a little gray hair, we remember the classic scene from the movie, The Ten Commandments, with Charlton Heston playing Moses, wind whipping, waters parting, and those huge walls of water on each side.

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It would take a great deal of faith to pass through something like that. Who had ever heard of the waters parting like that, making a dry path through any body of water? And they had to wonder how long the waters were going to stay parted. Remember, there was a huge crowd of people who had to cross the sea, some commentators estimate up to a million people, it is going to take a minute for them to all get through. And what do the folks in the back of the line think? There is really no way to hurry a large group of people anywhere. And if they were terrified of the Egyptians, does this seem like a safer alternative? And yet they stepped out on faith.

How good are we at stepping out on faith? Too often, we seem to want to know the outcome before we start. What if we begin and fail? What if this doesn’t work out? I’m sure the Israelites thought much the same thing here. And yet they stepped into the dry sea bed. We need to be willing to do the same. We cannot control the water or the wind, only God can do that. And when he makes the way we need to do what he wants us to do. Will it be scary? Often times it is. Will it be hard? Often times it is. Will it be dangerous? Often times it is. And yet our faith needs to be strong enough that we are willing to follow God.

Father, help me step into the dry sea bed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.