“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” (Exodus 14:21)
As we imagine this scene from the Bible, we trust movie representations and primary stories over the actual text. We imagine an adrenaline inducing explosion of water.
I went 23 years trusting the primary and Hollywood stories, before I realized they were misrepresentations. The text reads, “the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”
It took all night.
Does it matter?
I don’t think God cares if you’ve mastered scripture trivia. But it should awaken us to realize much of our understanding of scripture is shaped by our environment and upbringing. We insert and change the details of the stories as read superficially read over them. You may be 45 years old and read this story several times, but never realized that the parting of the Red Sea was not instantaneous. It should make you reflect on how carefully you read the scriptures.
If you were mistaken about this trivial detail, how do you know you haven’t overlooked something significant? Something related to the nature of God, or the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ?
[However, this story is actually significant in terms of teaching about the gospel. Paul identifies this as the baptism of the Israelites by Moses.]