by Tony Nester

The Crossing of the Red Sea
Tony R. Nester
Exodus 14:5-31

Today we continue our series on The Key Stories of the Bible. We've come to the story of The Crossing of the Red Sea. This is one of the most famous miracle stories in the Bible. As with other miracle stories there are those of us who ask, "What really happened?"

I remember a story about a young boy whose mother was making him go to Sunday School against his wishes. He claimed that Sunday School was boring. His mother knew that the lesson that day was on Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea. She figured that lesson would spark some interest in her boy, so she asked him on their way home, "What did you learn in Sunday School today?"

Her son paused for a few moments, then began to relate the story.

"Well, the Egyptians had the Israelites trapped against the sea. So Moses called in the engineers and threw a pontoon bridge across, and in the night and the fog he moved all his troops across to the other side. In the morning the Egyptians saw what had happened and rolled across the bridge in their tanks. But just before they got to the other side, Moses called in an air strike and sunk the bridge with all the Egyptians on it."

"Johnny," said his mother. "You know your Sunday School teacher didn't tell the story that way!" "Well, not exactly," said Johnny. "But if I told it the way she told it, you wouldn't believe it." (1).

So what "really" happened? I can't tell you because I wasn't there. I can tell you that the Israelites made a surprising escape from Egypt. Their explanation is that God intervened on their behalf to rescue them from Pharaoh's army. Just precisely where the water was parted and how much water was parted the Bible doesn't say.

Now let's go to the story itself. (Exodus 14:5-8 NRSV) "When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed toward the people, and they said, "What have we done, letting Israel leave ...

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