Devotional: Parting the Waters
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21)
In Genesis 1:2, before God speaks the universe into existence, we find His Spirit hovering over the face of the waters. This is the first mention of water in Scripture, but the theme of water runs throughout God’s Word.
On day two of Creation, God created an “expanse” and separated the waters under the expanse from the waters above the expanse, and He called the expanse “sky” (Genesis 1:6-8). This was a cosmic parting of the waters.
Later, God would bring Noah and his family safely through flood waters (1 Peter 3:20). Then He made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided (Genesis 8:1). You might call this a global parting of the waters.
When the Israelites left the bondage of slavery in Egypt, they found themselves trapped at the edge of the Red Sea, with Pharaoh’s army bearing down upon them. But the Lord drove the sea back with an intense wind, and the waters were parted (Exodus 14:21). Moses led God’s people to safety on the other side as they walked on dry ground.
Next stop, the promised land, right? Unfortunately, the children of Israel didn’t get to enjoy their inheritance right away. Because they doubted God, He caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years until only Joshua and Caleb survived from among their generation.
Joshua trusted God and was prepared to take the land after Moses died. But first, the Israelites would have to cross the Jordan River. This must have been a déjà vu moment for Joshua and Caleb as the Jordan River stopped flowing to allow the Israelites and the Ark of the Covenant to pass over dry ground into the promised land (Joshua 3:7-17). These two incidents, the parting of water at the Red Sea and Jordan River, might be called a national parting of the water.
In the New Testament, we see the salvation of the individual through the parting of waters in the form of baptism. Through baptism, one emerges from the water into a new life of spiritual peace and promise.
So which side of the waters do you find yourself on right now? You don’t want to be standing with the forces of Pharaoh, waiting to be destroyed. But don’t pass through the waters only to wander in the wilderness because of your unbelief, either. And please don’t remain in the land of least resistance. Instead, “be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Do you hear a holy wind blowing? The waters are being parted by God Almighty. Now walk across on dry ground and take the promise in hand! Claim your eternal inheritance and find rest for your soul.
Almighty God, Creator of the seas and ocean depths, I put my faith and hope in you. Lead me by your strong right hand. Guide me to the promised land. Keep my eyes fixed on you and not on the obstacles I face each day. Teach me your ways, for I am weak and lacking in understanding. Show me the way to everlasting life. I long for heaven and the peace and rest that awaits me there. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you enjoyed this devotional by Davis Carman, enjoy reading his devotional entitled 3 Ways to Share Jesus With Skeptics.
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of four illustrated children’s books designed to help kids learn a biblical worldview. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now. Davis’s four books include: Good Morning, God, based on Deuteronomy 6, A Light for My Path, an ABC book based on Psalm 119, In the Beginning, based on the Creation account in Genesis, and Psalms to Know Early.