The Red Sea crossing in Exodus 14 is the ultimate foundational event that creates and identifies the people of God. And we always refer to it as the Exodus. But you may be interested to know that the word “exodus” never occurs one time in the actual narrative. The Hebrew words used in the book of Exodus to refer to the creation and redemption of God’s people are these:
ga’al – to protect or preserve the integrity of the family or clan
padah – to pay the purchase price to free a captive or a slave
ha’aleh – to cause to go up
hevi – to cause to bring in
hotsi – to cause to go out
As Israel is delivered from Egyptian bondage and saved through the waters of the sea, the focus of the activity is on God and what he’s doing. God is doing all of it. Israel is completely helpless and powerless to contribute one thing to the salvation process. It’s all on God. Israel’s job is to trust God, to “stand firm,” to “be still,” and to “see.” God is the one who brings them out and delivers them and saves them with his strong arm and outstretched hand.
Just as the Israelites passed through the waters of the sea, we pass through the waters of baptism into a new life in the Father through Christ Jesus. And, again, our God is the one redeeming and saving. We bring nothing to the table except our willingness to trust him and submit to him and his salvation purposes.
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.” ~1 Peter 2:10