“By faith they (Israel) passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.” Hebrews 11:29
The descendants of Abraham had just participated in God’s great miracle and final act of judgment, fulfilling His ancient prophecy (Genesis 15: 13-14).
This morning, joy gushed from their hearts in a song of praise.
Songs, music, don’t we love it? Musical instruments, radios, CDs, MP players, and iPods are everywhere. But did you know God created music? Yes, He set seven notes in place and we named them. Seven, the number God uses to indicate perfection and completion. Now, although an octave has eight notes, notice the eighth goes back to the first and all others are only variations of the original seven.
God then also gave us the ability to take those musical notes and turn them into sweet melodies, expressing our many different emotions. Since God created us in His image and we enjoy music, obviously God does as well. However, God’s favorite music is praise from a repentant humble heart, because He inhabits the praises of His people.
So with the enemy defeated, Israel liberated from Egyptian slavery and now safely on the opposite shore, the celebration begins. The men sing in recognition of God’s mighty power and the women answer, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him…” (Exodus 15:2)
As their praise song continued recounting each detail, the holiness of God struck them. For the first time their eyes were truly opened. Israel finally saw God for who He is and their song changed to awe. “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?” they sang. “Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? …You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation.” (Exodus 15:11-13)
In I Corinthians 10:1-2 Paul explains, passing through the Red Sea on dry ground was a type of baptism for the Israelites. Interestingly, scripture speaks of three baptisms and each baptism is a facet of the one whole. Very much like the Hebrew word, “echad”, found in the first line of Israel’s Shema (Deuteronomy 4:6).
Echad comes from the primitive root “achad” and carries the meaning of united or unity. Loosely, it is the idea of a cluster of grapes – many grapes – one cluster. However, and this is a big however, we MUST stay within the confines of truth of Scripture revealing our God in three persons only, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is why Almighty God chooses echad to explain His Oneness - He is a Tri-Unity or Three-in-One.
Now, back to baptism. Each baptism mentioned in God’s Holy Word relates to One Person of the Trinity.
This Red Sea crossing is the first of the three baptisms. It corresponds to God the Father, representing the initial step in salvation: Acknowledging Almighty God’s existence and understanding His great power over our lives.
Israel did this that very day.