26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. Exodus 13:21-30 Exodus 13:26-31
The second miracle of this story, of course, was the massive water wall falling on the Egyptian soldiers at just the right time (wrong time for them). They had assumed that the waters would still be held back for them, but they rushed into their deaths on Pharaoh’s command. None of them lived to tell about it.
As they approached the waters, though, what must they have been thinking? The Israelites had the benefit of Moses directing their path upon guidance for God. The Egyptian soldiers knew that the wall of water was a freak act of nature, and they must have questioned the order (in their minds) to pursue the Israelite slaves, especially as most of them had already crossed on dry ground.
Yet, it wasn’t a freak act of nature. These soldiers would have experienced all 10 plagues, and many of them were not even able to mourn the death of their first born before beginning pursuit of the Israelites. So they sort of know what they’re up against. Similarly, they might have even had a huge vendetta against the slaves for somehow being involved in the death of their first born.
So their anger, their frustrations, their vendettas were all for naught as they entered the dry bed of the Red Sea. They were given false hope that they could make it to the other side because some must have been close before the waters caved in on all of them.
But really, they had no choice but to pursue the Israelites. They had clung to the false hope that they would make it to the other side alive.
Many in our society have a similar false hope. They even talk about making it to the other side and maybe even yukking it up when they get there. God presents us regularly with opportunities to share the only Hope we have in this world.
What a life-changing Hope He is.