First of all, ‘Happy birthday, Jeanette!’
Sometimes it seems that no matter which way we turn, bad things will happen (or are). I like how Moses put it to the people when they cried out about Pharaoh coming after them at the Red Sea in The Jesus Storybook Bible: ‘Don’t be afraid! God knows you can’t do anything! God will do it for you. Trust him. And watch! … God will make a way.” I like the song of praise the Israelites sing after their rescue that it is included after the picture.
“What were God’s people going to do? In front of them was a big sea. It was so big there as no way around it. But there was no way through it – it was too deep. They didn’t have any boats so they couldn’t sail across. And they couldn’t swim across because it was too far and they would drown. And they couldn’t turn back because Pharaoh was chasing them. … So they did the only thing there was left to do – PANIC!”
God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness has closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.” And that’s what happened.
God made Pharaoh king of Egypt stubborn, determined to chase the Israelites as they walked out on him without even looking back. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them! They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. …
Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.
God will fight the battle for you.
And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God, giving voice together,
I’m singing my heart out to God—what a victory!
He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song,
and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have
and I’m telling the world!
This is the God of my father—
I’m spreading the news far and wide!
God is a fighter,
pure God, through and through.
Pharaoh’s chariots and army
he dumped in the sea,
The elite of his officers
he drowned in the Red Sea.
Wild ocean waters poured over them;
they sank like a rock in the deep blue sea.
Your strong right hand, God, shimmers with power;
your strong right hand shatters the enemy.
In your mighty majesty
you smash your upstart enemies,
You let loose your hot anger
and burn them to a crisp.
At a blast from your nostrils
the waters piled up;
Tumbling streams dammed up,
wild oceans curdled into a swamp.
The enemy spoke,
“I’ll pursue, I’ll hunt them down,
I’ll divide up the plunder,
I’ll glut myself on them;
I’ll pull out my sword,
my fist will send them reeling.”
You blew with all your might
and the sea covered them.
They sank like a lead weight
in the majestic waters.
Who compares with you
among gods, O God?
Who compares with you in power,
in holy majesty,
In awesome praises,
You stretched out your right hand
and the Earth swallowed them up.
But the people you redeemed,
you led in merciful love;
You guided them under your protection
to your holy pasture.
When people heard, they were scared;
Philistines writhed and trembled;
Yes, even the head men in Edom were shaken,
and the big bosses in Moab.
Everybody in Canaan
panicked and fell faint.
Dread and terror
sent them reeling.
Before your brandished right arm
they were struck dumb like a stone,
Until your people crossed over and entered, O God,
until the people you made crossed over and entered.
You brought them and planted them
on the mountain of your heritage,
The place where you live,
the place you made,
Your sanctuary, Master,
that you established with your own hands.
Let God rule
forever, for eternity!