“The Children of Israel Pass through the Red Sea on Dry Ground—The Lord Overthrows the Egyptians in the Midst of the Sea”

Exodus 14:10, 13–16, 21–23, 26–28, 30–31

10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. . . .13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. . . .21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. . . .26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. . . .30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:

“Revelation almost always comes in response to a question, usually an urgent question—not always, but usually. In that sense it does provide information, but it is urgently needed information, special information. [Moses’s] challenge was how to get himself and the children of Israel out of [the] horrible predicament they were in. There were chariots behind them, sand dunes on every side, and a lot of water immediately ahead. He needed information to know what to do, but it wasn’t a casual thing he was asking. In this case it was literally a matter of life and death. . . .

“. . . The Red Sea will open to the honest seeker of revelation. The adversary has power to hedge up the way, to marshal Pharaoh’s forces and dog our escape right to the water’s edge, but he . . . cannot conquer if we will it otherwise. . . .

“. . . The record says, ‘And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid.’ Some . . . said words to this effect: ‘Let’s go back. This isn’t worth it. We must have been wrong. That probably wasn’t the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt.’ What they actually said to Moses was: ‘Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? . . . It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness’ (Exodus 14:10–12). And I have to say, ‘What about that which has already happened? What about the miracles that got you here? What about the frogs and the lice? What about the rod and the serpent, the river and the blood? What about the hail, the locusts, the fire, the firstborn sons?’

“How soon we forget. It would not have been better to stay and serve the Egyptians, and it is not better to remain outside the Church, nor to put off marriage, nor to reject a mission call or other Church service, and so on and so on forever. Of course our faith will be tested as we fight through these self-doubts and second thoughts. Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt—seemingly free, seemingly on our way—only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary’s weapons against us.

“‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.’ In confirmation the great Jehovah said to Moses, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward’ (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added).

“That is [a] lesson [about] the spirit of revelation. After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel His love and hear the word of the Lord, go forward. Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. You may . . . have to find a route that leads an unusual way, but that is exactly what the Lord is doing here for the children of Israel. Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what? There’s always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet. . . .

“. . . Along with the illuminating revelation that points us toward a righteous purpose or duty, God will also provide the means and power to achieve that purpose. Trust in that eternal truth. If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, He will provide the way for you to accomplish it. That is true of joining the Church or raising a family, of going on a mission, or any one of a hundred other worthy tasks in life. . . . God’s grace is sufficient! The Lord would tell Joseph [Smith] again and again that just as in days of old the children of Israel would be ‘led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. . . . Therefore, let not your hearts faint. . . . Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land’ (D&C 103:17, 19–20).

“What goodly land? Well, your goodly land. Your promised land. Your new Jerusalem. Your own little acre flowing with milk and honey. Your future. Your dreams. Your destiny. I believe that in our own individual ways, God takes us to the grove or the mountain or the temple and there shows us the wonder of what His plan is for us. We may not see it as fully as Moses or Nephi or the brother of Jared did, but we see as much as we need to see in order to know the Lord’s will for us and to know that He loves us beyond mortal comprehension. . . . Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

(“Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 9, 10–11.)

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