“Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea” (detail) by Ivan Aivazovsky
Crossing the Red Sea
One of the most dramatic miracles recorded in the scriptures is the passages of thousands of Israelites through the Red Sea on dry ground. The author of Exodus records that “the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Exodus 14:22, 29). This event has inspired subsequent generations of believers, including Book of Mormon prophets. This week’s Come, Follow Me study guide for Individuals and Families encourages us to also let this event strengthen our faith: “When we need deliverance—when we need a little more faith, when we need to ‘stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord’—we can remember how ‘the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians’ (Exodus 14:13, 30).”
Here is a blog post about how this event can inspire us with the faith to move forward:
Almost immediately after crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites began to complain. They were hungry and thirsty. In Egypt, they had been slaves but at least they had food and water. (See Exodus 15:23–27; 16:1–15; 17:1–7.) Their murmuring has a parallel in the Book of Mormon: Lehi’s oldest sons, Laman and Lemuel complained at every stage of their journey from Jerusalem to their promised land. (See, for example, 1 Nephi 2:11–12.) It’s easy for us to be critical of them, but if we are self-aware, we may discover that we do a fair amount of murmuring ourselves.
It’s also important to note that there is a difference between reactive grumbling and proactively raising genuine concerns. Here is a blog post on that topic:
Crossing the Red Sea was an event, but eating manna in the wilderness became a way of life for the Israelites for forty years, a continual reminder of their reliance on God. The way manna was delivered taught important spiritual lessons, including our need for daily nourishment and the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy. Both Nephi and King Limhi reminded their people of manna immediately after mentioning the Red Sea. (See 1 Nephi 17:26-28, Mosiah 7:19.)
Moses summarized the lesson of the manna in this way: “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3). And the Savior quoted that passage when Satan tempted Him to use His power to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:1-4).
Here is a blog post about one lesson I’ve learned from manna: not to be a picky consumer of spiritual nourishment:
Two other blog posts relating to this week’s reading
- The Song of the Sea, which expresses the joy the Israelites felt after crossing the Red Sea, also conveys the joy of modern Israel as they are gathered and delivered from spiritual captivity: My Strength…My Song…My Salvation – 2 Nephi 22:2.
- The hill where Moses raised his hand towards heaven during a battle is called “Jehovah-nissi,” which means literally “the Lord is my standard” – A Standard for My People.