The awesome power of God (The Red Sea, part 1)
“When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31 (NASB)
This morning I told Ian the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and God parting the Red Sea for them to escape from the Egyptians. It occurred to me what an amazing privilege it is to be able to introduce Him to the wonderful things God has done through the ages. He’ll be hearing this story for the rest of his life, but today I got to make that first impression on his heart. As I tried to convey what an incredible event this was, I myself was overwhelmed at the realization of God’s magnificent love and awesome power.
“We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.” Psalm 78:4 (NASB)
First I told Ian the story using our flannel board set. He definitely caught parts of it, especially the fact that they were leaving Egypt and following God in the pillar of cloud. The parting of the waters was less dramatic than I would have liked (just a small picture that looked rather far off). So I turned to some of our Bible storybooks hoping to find some pictures that would help him understand. I love the pictures in Classic Bible Stories: A Family Treasury. Most of them are the same as the original illustrations in The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, but the pages are bigger so it’s easier to focus on the details. (I haven’t seen the illustrations in the new version, but I’ve read reviews from people who’ve seen both, and most of them seem to prefer the older pictures) Ian loves looking through both of those Bibles because of the the beautiful pictures. They didn’t let me down. The picture of the Israelites beginning to cross between the waters was gorgeous and powerful.
After studying that picture for a while we pulled out The Beginner’s Bible and I read the story one more time. I usually really like the way the Beginner’s Bible breaks the story down into simple language while still including the important details. (Incidentally, I have the older version by Karen Henley. I guess it was republished under the same name but with different text and illustrations. Not sure why they kept the same title when they changed everything else, but again, reviews from people who are familiar with both seem to favor the older version.) I was disappointed with this story though. It didn’t mention anything about Moses raising His staff to part the waters; it just said “God sent a strong wind to push the sea back.” I guess they were trying to emphasize that God did the miracle rather than Moses, but the staff had been part of our flannelgraph story and was in the other Bible story books, so it just felt like something was missing.
After we’d read through the story Ian seemed to be catching on to what really happened, but I wanted to really leave a strong first impression. I turned on The Prince of Egypt and cued it up to the beginning of the song they sing as they’re walking out of Egypt. The enormity of what God had done in freeing his people hit me hard and I just started weeping. Then came that amazing scene where the waters fly up and leave the dry ground. I watched in awe as the people picked their way across the sea bed. And then, when the sea had come crashing in over the Egyptians and the Israelites looked back across the now peaceful waters, I let out a big sigh. I was so overcome with the emotion of what had just occurred. And to my delight, Ian was all excited as well. He kept trying to show me with his arms what had happened to the water. “Holy Cows!” he shouted. (Thank you, Grandpa, for teaching him this new favorite phrase.) He got it. That made me cry even more.
What plans does God have for my children’s lives? Where will He take them? What mighty works of God will they see before they die? Only He knows the answers to those questions. But I get to prepare their hearts to walk that journey. They will expect mighty things of God because they will know “His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.“