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What is the lesson of the Red Sea parting?

BY CAREY KINSOLVING Modified: September 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012

"Moses holded out his stick, and it splitted up," says Jessica, age 6. "It was a miracle when Moses put the stick into the big sea," adds Hillary, 6.

Gee, I wonder whether Teddy Roosevelt was thinking of Moses when he said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

Indeed, Moses did go far, but it wasn't because he depended on his big stick. Forty years before, he had relied on his own strength when he killed an Egyptian who was beating a fellow Jew. But now, when the Lord told him to lift up his rod and stretch out his hand over the Red Sea, he obeyed and trusted in the power of God. Read Exodus 14 for the full account.

"If you trust God, he will help you in sticky situations," says Rachel, 11. Does this include wet situations, as well? Sticky or wet, there are times in life when we face impossible circumstances.

"Trust in the Lord even when you are scared," says Shannon, 11. The Bible tells us the people of Israel were "very afraid" — so much so that they harassed Moses and asked him whether he'd brought them into the wilderness to die.

Moses told the Israelites to "stand still and watch the salvation of the Lord." Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is nothing. Not passivity, but active faith that stands on tiptoes watching for what God is going to do.

"It means to me that no false god can overcome the true God," says Michael, 10. The big showdown with the gods of Egypt started with another big stick. This one belonged to Aaron, the brother of Moses. He threw his rod down before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent. Although Egypt's magicians imitated the miracle, they probably didn't count on their snakes being eaten by the snake that God made from Aaron's rod.

I wonder whether Aaron's motto became "Speak softly, and carry a big stick that eats other big sticks."

"The lesson (of the exodus) is if you need the Lord's help, call upon him, and he will help you," says Amber, 11.

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