Baptism at the Red Sea
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom 6:4).
When Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, he took them to the edge of the Red Sea. The people saw the sea before them and heard the chariots of the Egyptians behind them. They knew they were trapped – and they lost their faith in God. They thought God was no longer at work in their lives. In panic and despair, they turned on Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out into the desert to die? When we were slaves in Egypt, didn’t we tell you, ‘Just leave us alone and let us continue serving the Egyptians.’ Better to live as slaves than to die out here!”
They couldn’t imagine that God’s path to freedom actually led straight into and through the deep waters! The waters of the Red Sea, like the New Testament sacrament of baptism, are a symbol of death. When Moses parted the Red Sea, the people of Israel walked upon the dry seabed with walls of water on either side. They descended into the depths of the sea. They died to their old selves and rose to a new life that led to the Promised Land.
Like the people of Israel in their journey, we panic and cry out to God, “Did You bring me out into this desert of adversity to die?” We would rather live as slaves than die to self and yield control of our lives to God. But God takes us through the depths so that we can emerge as new people, ready to enter the Promised Land.
In general, I’ve observed that the greater and higher the calling, the more intense the adversity. I’m not saying one person’s call is more important, but I am saying it may have a more far reaching impact on others. This often requires greater preparation.
If you find yourself in deep water, thank God today that He is preparing you for a life that is designed to impact many.