What I’m Thinking: Miracle Work

One thing to learn from the crossing of the Red Sea is how much labor the people had to do to benefit from God’s miracle. Miracles are work.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the crossing of the Red Sea. It’s in the fourteenth chapter of Exodus (Exodus 14:19-31). I’m also thinking about the song the people sang from the far bank of the Red Sea, which is found in Exodus 15 (Exodus 15:1b-11).

Honestly, what strikes me first is how much work this miracle was, not just for God (who clearly did a great work here) but also on the part of Moses, Aaron, Miriam, the leaders of the people, and indeed the people themselves. Remember, they had had to pack very quickly before they actually made their way towards the shores of the Red Sea. They then, once the waters had parted and there was a pathway across the probably fairly rocky and muddy and tangled now exposed sea floor, there would have been the half-panicked flight, summoning enough courage to go between these walls of water.

How would one know that they would stay intact? How would one know that they would not fold in again at some random moment? So yes: a lot of work.

But I also confess to being, well, a little disheartened by the song of triumph sung on the shores of the sea, because the other thing that was marked by the miracle were the deaths of who know how many of Pharaoh’s soldiers. “Horse and rider have been thrown into the sea.” So the song goes.

So many of our examples of the presence and the blessing of God: well, all too often they come with suffering, with death, with horror and terror for someone else.

So in these days of pandemic, I hope we can learn from the first part of the miracle, and that we can also learn something from the second.

From the first, I think we have to learn that miracles take work on our part. Someday, we hope that there will be a miracle that will restrain, maybe even end the spread of this particular virus. These miracles have happened before, and it was a lot of work each time.

But I also hope that when that miracle arrives we can stand on the far side of the sea, and as we raise our songs of thanksgiving for the deliverance of those people who have made the crossing, that a part of our song will also be lament and mourning for those who were lost in the waves.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on September 8, 2020

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1 Comment

  1. by Janet

    On September 8, 2020

    i am touched; I am moved; I remain hopeful.

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