Sunday, June 6, 2010
Truth Series - Red Sea Miracle
Here's a quick one for you and you may have not ever heard of it before. We all know the story of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt and Moses - "Let My people go!" and the plagues, right? Well, when Moses is finally given permission to take the Israelites out of Egypt by Pharaoh after the tenth plague, Pharaoh once again changes his mind and sends his army after the evacuating slaves. Shortly after their departure, Moses and the children of Israel find themselves trapped with the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army quickly approaching behind them.
Now, we've also all seen the movie "The Ten Commandments", where Moses raises his staff and the water parts for the people to pass through. Once safely on the other side, the waters close around the approaching Egyptian army, drowning Pharaoh's forces and ending the chase.
This is where Christianity gets fuzzy on the details. It is now being taught in Bible schools and seminaries (yes, my daughters' college class and Dave's seminary class at Baptist Theological Seminary) that this was not truly the spectacular event that Hollywood made it out to be. In actuality, they teach, the Israelites were most likely crossing more of a tributary than a sea, a pond or lake at best. At my daughters' college, the claim was made that they were crossing in four inches of water, with reeds and mud. But because the Israelites were on foot, they were able to manage the muddy trail, while the Egyptian chariots were not as fortunate, having their wheels entrenched in the wet reeds, which ultimately concluded in their...drowning.
Does that make any sense at all? The Egyptian soldiers drown in four inches of water? And the professor claimed that God did not dry the ground, but the Israelites had to fight to save their own lives.
Hmmm...what a miracle!
So, what does the Bible say?
"Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen"...the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh's entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained." Exodus 14:15-17,28
Now you tell me - were they crossing a puddle of four inches of water or did God truly divide the water and they passed through on dry land? God's Word is clear.
So, why do we have to make excuses for the glory and majesty of God? My father often said, if you were struggling with the meaning of scripture, give it to a third grader to read and explain to you...they're probably right because they'll take the most straightforward and obvious meaning.
As I said earlier, you may not be familiar with this absurd teaching, but folks, it's out there. Be aware of what is being taught, be aware that God's Word is being excused away by the very teachers that claim the blood of Christ, be aware that the claims of the Word have become an embarrassment to the church He died to save.
It's got to stop somewhere.
Make sure it stops with you.
One final word of advice here - when someone makes a strange claim about scripture and you are not sure what to say, there is one question that should clear things up:
What does the Bible say about it?
Start there and move forward. Most times the scripture will clear up the issue...