Psalm 136:13

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 13. To him which divided the Red sea into parts. He made a road across the sea bottom, causing the divided waters to stand like walls on either side. Men deny miracles; but, granted that there is a God, they become easy of belief. Since it requires me to be an atheist that I may logically reject miracles, I prefer the far smaller difficulty of believing in the infinite power of God. He who causes the waters of the sea ordinarily to remain as one mass can with equal readiness divide them. He who can throw a stone in one direction can with the same force throw it another way: the Lord can do precisely what he wills, and he wills to do anything which is ten the deliverance of his people.

For his mercy endureth for ever, and therefore it endures through the sea as well as over the dry land. He will do a new thing to keep his old promise. His way is in the sea, and he will make a way for his people in the same pathless region.

Lo, the Red Sea he divides,
For his mercy sure abides.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 13. Divided the Red Sea into parts. The entire space between the mountains of Ataka and Abon Deradj was dry. At the former point the gulf is eight miles across, at the latter more than double that distance. The waters that had filled this broad and deep chasm stood in two huge mounds on the right hand and on the left. The light of God shone brightly on the astonished multitude. The word was given, they advanced abreast; awe stricken, but quiet and confident ... "Then the Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, even his chariots and his fleet horses": Ex 14:23. --William Osburn, in "Israel in Egypt", 1856.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 13-14. God to be praised not only,

  1. For clearing our way; but also,
  2. For giving faith to traverse it. The last as great a mercy as the first.

Verse 13-15. Mercy queen of the Exodus.

  1. Her sceptre upon the sea. What cannot Love divine conquer for its chosen!
  2. Her standard in the van. Whither shall saints fear to follow her?
  3. Her frown upon the pursuers; life to the beloved, fatal to the foe.
  4. To her let there be brought the chaplet of our praises. --W.B.H.