Verse 9. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up. A word did it. The sea heard his voice and obeyed. How many rebukes of God are lost upon us! Are we not more unmanageable than the ocean? God did, as it were, chide the sea, and say, "Wherefore dost thou stop the way of my people? Their path to Canaan lies through thy channel, how dare you hinder them?" The sea perceived its Master and his seed royal, and made way at once.
So he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. As if it had been the dry floor of the desert the tribes passed over the bottom of the gulf; nor was their passage venturesome, for HE bade them go ;nor dangerous, for He led them. We also have under divine protection passed through many trials and afflictions, and with the Lord as our guide we have experienced no fear and endured no perils. We have been led through the deeps as through the wilderness.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up. A poetical expression, signifying that the Red Sea retired at God's command, just as a slave would fly from his master's presence on being severely rebuked. --Robert Bellarmine.
Verse 9. He rebuked. We do not read that any voice was sent forth from heaven to rebuke the sea; but he hath called the Divine Power by which this was effected, a rebuke, unless indeed any one may choose to say, that the sea was secretly rebuked, so that the waters might hear, and yet men could not. The power by which God acts is very abstruse and mysterious, a power by which he causeth that even things devoid of sense instantly obey at his will. --Augustine.
Verse 9. Wilderness. Midbar; a broad expanse of poor dry land, suited for sheep walks (like our South Downs, or Salisbury Plain). Compare Isaiah 43:13 . --William Kay.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9. Israel at the Red Sea. See "Spurgeon's Sermons", No. 72.
- Israel's three difficulties.
- The Red Sea in front of them. This was not put there by an enemy; but by God himself. The Red Sea represents some great and trying providence placed in the path of every newborn child of God, to try his faith, and the sincerity of his trust in God.
- The Egyptians behind them, -- the representatives of the sins which we thought were dead and gone.
- The third difficulty was faint hearts within them.
- Israel's three helps.
- Their knowledge that they were the covenant people of God.
- The man, -- Moses. So the believer's hope and help is in the God man Christ Jesus.
- God's grand design in it. To give them a thorough baptism into his service, consecrating them for ever to himself (1Co 1-2).
Verse 9. (second clause). -- Dangerous and difficult paths rendered safe and easy by God's leadership.