Ex. 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
Ex. 14:22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
Ex. 14:23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
Ex. 14:24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic,
Ex. 14:25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.”
Ex. 14:26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.”
Ex. 14:27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea.
Ex. 14:28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained.
This was a horrible/wonderful event for that generation. On the one hand, they passed the point of no return on their old life in Egypt. All that they had ever known: slavery, poverty, oppression, barely surviving as a culture…was cut off behind them. Along with that the army of Egypt and the evils of slavery.
Ahead of them was the promised land. They had a clear path and nobody in their way except themselves. They would be raising their children in a completely new culture, environment, lifestyle, and government. Their kids didn’t share the same joy they did when the Egyptian army was washed away, but the kids saw knew the joy they saw on the faces of their parents and grandparents. The kids remembered the festive party on the other side of the Red Sea and the songs they sung.
When JFK was assassinated, there were 70 year olds that still remembered when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and World War 1 began. They might not have remembered the political reasons, but they remembered the catalyst and the events that followed. Many of them were afraid that World War 3 would begin because of Kennedy’s death.
Every generation learns from their parents in teaspoons and pitcherfuls. There are the big events, 9-11, earthquakes, grandpa’s funeral, etc. that set worldviews in cement. There are also places where worldviews are slowly carved, like the way they are treated every night when you get off work or every morning when they are getting ready for school. The small, daily habits shape worldviews too.
The Hebrews were afraid as they camped next to the Red Sea. The events of the 10 plagues had shaken them up because they had never experienced God in that way before. They had never seen Him act and move like He did in those old stories of their ancestor Abraham and Noah.
Now He was moving. God was participating clearly in their lives, and they had to shape their worldviews around Him or get a new one. It was their turn to establish their relationships with the God of Israel.