Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
Relate: Way back in Genesis 15, God entered into a covenant with Abraham. At that time God told Abraham that He would be Abraham’s “shield and very great reward.” He also promised him that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand on the seashore. Normally, when a covenant is made between two parties, a sacrifice would be made and cut in half. Then both parties would walk through the sacrifice. But in this instance, God alone walked through the “death” to life. In doing this, He was declaring that the responsibility for maintaining and upholding the covenant was God’s and His alone.
Four hundred some odd years later, the Israelites are as “numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.” When Pharaoh’s army comes on the scene, the Lord moves the pillar of fire between the two camps to act as a shield for the Israelites. Then he parts the sea. In Hebrew and Canaanite mythology of this time, death is associated with the sea. Yet the waters part and the Hebrew people walk through “death” into life. This is made all the more abundantly clear when the Egyptian army is swallowed up in this death. We tend to miss it today, but for those of that time and culture, it would be very clear that the entire community was entering into the covenant. Even in the layout of the book of Exodus, this becomes clear. Everything up to chapter 15 is the Israelite community breaking free of Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea is the culmination of that. Everything beyond this point is the responsibilities of the covenant community, and the crossing of the Red Sea is the launching point for this.
React: Like the Israelites, we as Christians are a covenant community. We are a part of the New Covenant people of God. Just as this first covenant was accomplished first by God alone walking through death into life, so the New Covenant is accomplished by Jesus’ death and resurrection. In turn, Jesus said that if anyone would be His disciple, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. The act of baptism is our symbolic representation of this act. Paul wrote in Romans 6:4, “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
God made the first covenant with Abraham. He made the promise, then He walked through it. Abraham was simply the beneficiary. God also parted the Red Sea for the Hebrew people. Without His power and provision, it would have simply been impossible. But even still, the people had to walk through it. In the same way, God saves us. We are simply beneficiaries of salvation. He also makes discipleship possible. Without His power and provision, it would not be possible for us. Even still, He calls us to walk it out. Are we doing so?
Let me walk out, or work out, my salvation with fear and trembling. You have called me, You have called us as a community to leave behind the “safe” shore and step into and through the waters You have parted for us. Give me, give us the courage to step up and walk it out. We want to be Your disciples. We want to be Your representatives on this earth. We know that without Your power and provision it would not be possible. But You have already provided us the path through Your death and resurrection. Help us now to take up our crosses and follow You.
The River Walk is a devotional created by Two Rivers Church. To visit or to watch a message online, please click here.
To read previous devotionals taken from the February 1st The River Walk devotionals click below: