In Exodus 14, God’s people stood stunned on the opposite shore of the Red Sea, as they watched God cause the waves to come crashing in on the mighty armies of Egypt.
Hebrews, Egyptians, slaves from other countries, they were all now irrevocably changed, they were now the nation of Israel, saved completely.
Only a little over a year ago, they had been staggering under crushing enslavement, so discouraged they had lost all hope. Then came the plagues, God’s might contest with the gods of Egypt.
Just days before they had slaughtered lambs, painted the blood on their doorposts, huddled in their coats, with their bags packed, as God’s judgment passed through all of Egypt. They had listened to the frightened wailing rising up from all those homes where a firstborn had died.
And then they had rushed out, plundered Egypt of its treasure, driven their herds and flocks ahead of them, no time to bake bread, they had to make haste.
They ran through the desert with God’s cloud ahead of them. It had to have been surreal.
But the whole year had been weird.
Maybe this was like ‘weird is the new normal.’
And then panic, we are all going to die, and then the Red Sea parting, and Egypt’s armies thundering behind . . .
. . . then the roar of rushing waters, greater than Niagara Falls.
It’s exhausting just to think about it. These people had to have been wrung out.
It only makes sense that they broke out into song.
[Miriam Dancing | Brooklyn Museum / Public domain / Richard Andre, London 1884, “The Coloured Picture Bible for Children.”]