We have reached the climax of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. All that happened from the opening of the book of Exodus, when the Israelites were persecuted and made slaves, leads to this epic event on the edge of the wilderness of Egypt. In one miraculous act the Lord sets His covenant people free while finally judging Egypt for her sin against His people and their God, Yahweh. The Lord told Moses in verse 16 of chapter 14, “Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.” Yahweh divided the Red Sea in this way so that He would be glorified in His action against Pharaoh and his army and charioteers – that all shall know once and for all that Yahweh is Lord! In verses 19-20 the angel of the Lord, manifested in the pillar of cloud and fire, moved between the Egyptians and the Israelites so that the Lord’s people would be protected as Moses raised his staff; miraculously, the sea parted revealing the dry ground. Imagine the sight; the waters of the sea are described as walls on both sides of their passage! The Israelites, who by all accounts were two to three million, passed through the sea in a passage estimated to be a half-mile wide. The Lord is mighty to save and at times does so miraculously.
God’s people were saved as the Egyptians were held back by the pillar of cloud. After a while, as the children of Israel passed through the sea, the Egyptians were released to again pursue them. But the Lord threw the armies into confusion as they realized that they were fighting against Yahweh Himself (14:23-25). Finally the Lord told Moses to once again stretch forth his staff, and the waters returned and not one Egyptian remained alive. The text ends saying “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses (14:30-31).
What an amazing God we serve – the One who declares the beginning from the end! You can be sure at the end of the age that there will be a final judgment where those who are apart from Christ will be judged unto eternal punishment. But those who are saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus, by His grace, will be found righteous by an imputed righteousness that comes from Christ alone. God is righteous in both judgment and salvation. (see 2 Thess 1:5-10).