He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. 

Psalm 66:6.

There are two sides to any miracle: the God side and the human side.  There were two sides to the miracle of the Red Sea: the rod of God that parted the sea, and the feet of the people that walked through it (Exodus 14:21-22).  There are no ferries or buses at the parted Red Sea, only legs.  Who fails to use their wearied legs to cross when Divine Opportunity opens a path might sooner contend afresh with Pharaoh chasing from behind; the same Pharaoh from whom they have been fleeing.  

A parted Red Sea is not a perpetual miracle.  It is a window of opportunity – with a deadline, after which the miracle expires, the waters return, and that path is sometimes forever closed.  God will part the sea, doing the impossible, but you will have to use your legs, doing the possible.  The possible does not always mean an easy way.  Sometimes it means a tedious walk to the other side.  Every miracle is not bread and fish multiplied to eat.  Some miracles have their tedious parts.  By the way, even miracle breads still have to be put into the mouth with an active hand.  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

“The Lord is my Shepherd … he leadeth me,” but not by carrying anyone on the back (Psalm 23:1-2).  The Shepherd leads; He does not drag or push.  To not follow while He leads is to miss Him and miss the way. Even when God guides spectacularly by a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud, it still takes one’s legs to follow – willingly.  Alas, those pillars don’t wait for stragglers – even if they were sitting and straggling at the place of prayer and sacrifice.  Paradise may be arrived at by a chariot of fire – as unto Elijah, but promised lands would usually be accessed by the feet of those that received the promise.

We often say that God led the Israelites out of Egypt, true, but only those who followed with their legs were led out – in one very hurried night.  Those who follow only ‘in spirit’ will remain slaves in body.

There are three phases in our main text: 1) “He turned the sea into dry land: [2] they went through the flood on foot: [3] there did we rejoice in him.”  Between God’s miracle of the parted “dry land” and the yonder place “there” of rejoicing “in him,” is the effort of the mortal “foot.

See you soon on the other side – while the sea is parted still. Amen.

From The Preacher,
March 4, 2023.

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