Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. – Exodus 14:21-28
When the Israelites were finally released from slavery, God needed to take them somewhere else. He needed them to get away from their old life and old surroundings. They needed to realize that God had something better for them. They needed to discover what they were created for and they needed to travel to make that discovery. So that this point would be clear and unforgettable, God takes them across the bottom of the sea on dry ground. Talk about an object lesson.
Our children need to be taken out of their environments as well. There are times where a complete change in geography can help open them up to see God and the promises He has for them. They need to understand the relationship of responsibility and freedom and how they grow together. This is not easy. Teaching our children to live a life of freedom is not easy, but it is worth every struggle we face in the process.
While God gave the Israelites every opportunity to see what He was doing for them, where He was taking them and why, they still went back to their enslaved ways of thinking. Before and after crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites complained. Freedom was too dangerous and demanding and difficult. They were gripped by fear and they started acting like they belonged to someone else. But they belonged to God and so do we and so do our children.
We need to have a relationship with God that will allow us to be Moses to our children. Our ability to be moved by God to do and say what our children need to do and hear is critical. They will look to us to lead them away from their oppressors. They will be watching us to see if what we say matches with how we live.
Lord, help me to lead my children from slavery to freedom. Give me wisdom to know my child’s needs and lead them to God. Help me to know when my children are slipping back into their old, enslaved habits. Amen.