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Genesis, First-Hand

Genesis, First-Hand

Exodus 14:21-22a

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. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground.

If you could’ve asked Moses for his interpretation of the creation story, whether he viewed the emerging universe as a slow process of evolution, where one cataclysmic event formed another until all things subsided into a collective, inhabitable mass; or whether he viewed it as a personal, hands-on act of God, whereby God hovered over the darkness, reached out across the endless abyss of waters to divide them, spoke piercing words that swept like east winds, and called through the night until daylight appeared, and land emerged from the waters, and a path was formed for man, so that Adam could walk in the heart of the earth just as Moses will walk through the heart of the sea; obviously Moses would’ve said the latter.

I can’t help but marvel at the way Exodus 14:21 explicitly mirrors Genesis 1. The choice of words, the visual connections, the divine motions, it’s all here—and Moses witnesses it with his own eyes. How fitting that when God later tasks Moses with writing down the opening chapters of world history, Moses conceptualizes and verbalizes the event as if he’d been right there the whole time, hovering over the waters with God, with his own staff held out, watching the drama unfold first hand. 

Friend, think of it: God hasn’t given us accounts like these so that we can passively observe His miraculous movement in the past, but so that we can read our own lives as present, active re-enactments of it. Don’t we see His hand still reaching through our present darkness, still parting the seas of oppression that stand in our way, still leading us through life’s shadowy valley on dry ground, still giving us a special staff to hold and a unique role to play as we walk by His side through the night toward the Promised Land?

We need firsthand faith today, not secondhand faith. We need a faith that reads of waters dividing and darkness subsiding and says, “Ah, yes, I see it even now!”