The telling of the Israelites escape from the pursuing army of the Egyptians is a very theatrical one indeed. The most dramatically astonishing part is, no doubt, the ‘parting of the Red Sea’, following Moses’ confidence and obedience to God, which not only enables the Israelites to safely cross over, but also results in the devastation of Pharaoh’s heavily armoured army.
I am old enough to recall the stunning imagery of Cecille B. DeMille’s astonishing 1956 movie of The Ten Commandments. The crossing of the Sea was undoubtedly the most outstanding part of the drama for most viewers. Even if the most dominant thought was: ‘How, on earth, was it possible to show such extraordinary events of the crossing and the following drownings?’
However, I suspect that most people who viewed this epic, would have concluded that it couldn’t have happened at all. Even the filmmaker had tricked them somehow. Clever, but not real. Just like the Bible, some persons would add. Added to the crossing, are the preceding accounts regarding dense cloud and a startling ‘pillar of fire’ that are also beneficial to the Israelites – other ‘miracles’.
All these extraordinary happenings may cause some to wonder, ‘Why does God not intervene in comparable ways today when Christians are in situations of hardship and suffering?’ A not unreasonable query, many may agree. However other Christians have asserted that the story of the Crossing is dramatic exaggeration, yet they still accept that somehow God delivered the Israelites from the army of the Pharaoh. This indicates that no matter what one makes of the whole miraculous event of the deliverance of God’s chosen people, it is still helpful to consider how God intrudes in the affairs of people. The following questions are worth contemplating:
- How does God intervene in your life, subtly or with drama?
- When has God stood behind you to shield you from evil?
- What ‘parted seas’ have you crossed in your life?
- With whom will you share your responses?