“Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea–the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, That He might make His mighty power known. He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; So He led them through the depths, As through the wilderness . . . Then they believed His words; They sang His praise. They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel, But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.” (Psalms 106:7-9, 12-14)
It is known as one of the greatest miracles of the Bible. Moses lifting the rod, the blast of God’s nostrils ripping through the sea; created a dry passageway for God’s people to safely travel between two towering walls of water. The crossing of the Red Sea was omnipotence on display.
But there was a hitch. The psalmist said, “They . . . rebelled by the sea.” How can it be that rational men and women who watched God decimate the greatest empire of their day by ten supernatural plagues, ever doubt God’s intention or power? Ten times, the prophet of God had spoken and prophesied what was to come. And not once, did the Word of God fail. The plagues fell like a hammer shattering Egypt.
God’s people stood between sea and soldier; between life and death—and they believed death. They spoke their words of unbelief with tears and loud lament, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:11-12).
The psalmist tells us the root of their problem—they neither understood nor remembered, that it was by the mighty hand of God, rather than the feeble hand of man, that rescued and delivered them. “Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies (Psalm 106:7).
They did not have a grasp of the ways of God. They were not in tune with the redemptive program of God. All they could see was today. They lived by a nature that could not see the trajectory of God. They lived by isolating each moment into the tyranny of the present. They did not connect the dots and come to see what God was doing. In short, they didn’t understand God because they didn’t know God.
Many of us claim to know God. But if we don’t understand His ways, we prove we don’t understand Him. How can you claim to know someone and not understand them? Perhaps the argument of incomprehension would be sensible if the person we are trying to comprehend is deranged and psychotic. However, that argument cannot be leveled against the Lord God. He has given us 66 books to explain Himself to anyone who wants to know Him. If you’re going to understand the Lord, then start studying His Word. In addition to the Bible, He has given His very Spirit to teach us the Bible and reveal Himself to us.
I don’t mean to imply you will know all there is to know about God, because that is impossible. Finiteness cannot contain infinity. Nor do I suggest that you will always discern what God is up to in your life. What I mean is that even though you may not grasp the next step or your last step as you follow God, you will be able to know His heart and that He is trustworthy; even when it doesn’t make sense. How can God’s people have such assurance? Because we know the character of the Person we call the Lord God Almighty.
If you know Him, you will trust Him! The question is, do you truly know Him?