Because of the Promises God Had Made to Their Fathers, the Children of Israel Passed through the Red Sea in Safety and the Egyptians Were Drowned

Exodus 14:23–31

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.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
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.
29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
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.

President Brigham Young said:

“Take the case of the children of Israel and the miracles that were wrought in their deliverance from the land of Egypt. The question arises, was it through their faith, or because of the promises which God had made to their fathers? The Lord sent Moses to Pharaoh, who wrought many miracles before him; and Pharaoh sent for his wise men, his astrologers, soothsayers, and magicians, and they wrought their miracles before Moses and Aaron [see Exodus 7:10–25; 8:1–32]. Finally, the Lord said, the children of Israel must be brought out of Egypt; but was it because of their faith, or because of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? It was because of the promises of the Lord, and not because of the righteousness of that people, that He brought them out. They came to a place where they were hemmed in, with the Red Sea before them and the armies of the Egyptian monarch behind them, and the mountains on either side of them, and they cried out that they would be destroyed [see Exodus 14:9–10]. But the Lord divided the water, and took them over in safety [see Exodus 14:19–22]; and it was because of the promises He had made to their fathers [see Genesis 15:13–14; Exodus 6:2–7]. They passed through the Red Sea in safety [see Exodus 14:29–31] and the Egyptians were drowned [see Exodus 14:23– 28]. Was it because the Egyptians were so much more wicked? I suppose not; but it was because the Lord had said, ‘Let the children of Israel go free,’ and they would not [see Exodus 5:1–2]; and He punished the Egyptians for not letting them go; and He punished the children of Israel by not letting them go into the promised land, for their wickedness in the wilderness [see Numbers 14:30].”

(In Journal of Discourses, 12:242–43.)

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