Tsunamis in the Bible?
I have always wondered how the Red Sea parted as described in the
Exodus story of Moses.
The recent Tsunamis that happened in West Sumatra and the
tremendous destruction that came with it got me thinking - was
this what really happened to the Egyptian army when they were
pursuing the Hebrew people while they were led out of Egypt by
On the internet, many eyewitness accounts can be obtained very
fast. Pictures taken by amateurs appeared on the news channels
within hours of the event. Many people were able to witness the
destructive effects of gigantic waves through these movies. Death
just happens in an instance with the pounding of 700 kph waves
that destroyed everything in its path.
Ironically, just a few hundred meters away, people were busy with
their shopping, eating, laughing, as if nothing happens. Nobody
had expected such fury and destruction. It was just like a
monster coming in and swallowing its victims.
On that eventful Sunday of 26th December 2004, I was attending
Mass at our local church. At approximately 0900 hrs, I could feel
a very slight tremor while I was listening to the homily
delivered by our Parish priest.
The tremor was so slight that at first I thought I was not
feeling well and felt a bit dizzy. Then I noticed that many other
people were looking around them as if they also felt something.
My neighbor sitting next to me could not even feel anything.
Everybody went home without even suspecting anything amiss.
My family and I even went over to a shopping complex very near to
the seaside where the tsunami hit. That was at about 1300 hrs.
Back to the event of the Exodus. About 4 thousand years ago,
there was a report in the bible that the Red Sea parted, and the
Hebrew people led by Moses were able to walk through the sea as
if it were dry land.
After they had cross over the seabed, the pursuing armies of the
Egyptian pharaoh followed in their trails. The wheels of their
chariots got stuck in the mud, and the water came back, swept and
destroyed them. None of them survived.
I was wondering. The waters must have come in very fast! How come
none of the soldiers were able to escape? The recent Tsunami,
triggered by an undersea earth tremor seems to provide a living
example of what can cause the water to rise so high and so
suddenly that none of them could survive.
The recent tsunami was caused by an earth tremor. Was it likely
to occur at the Red Sea? Sure enough, some areas in the
Mediterranean were well known for volcanic activity.
Was it possible that 4 thousand years ago, something like this
I have never seen such destructive forces at work before. Houses,
people and buildings were swept out of the way like match sticks.
It's so swift and sudden. It brought to mind the words Jesus
Christ spoke, "On that night, I tell you, there will be two
people sleeping in the same bed: one will be taken away, the
other will be left behind. Two women will be grinding meal
together: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind"
(Luke 17:34-35). This sobering passage was referring to the final
days of the coming of the Kingdom. But it does dawn on me that
nothing is impossible with God. It's only we who do not believe
such a thing can happen.
This tsunami event left a lasting impression on me to never
underestimate the power of God. The bible is so full of such
events, God bringing in locust, bees, flies, plaque and many
other natural phenomenons to show His power. The story of how
Gideon with his 300 men defeating 120,000 enemies, and many other
stories tell us that seemingly unimportant people led by the
power of God was able to conquer impossible odds.
Actually it does not matter to me anymore whether a tsunami
really parted the Red Sea or not although I wonder how it
happened. It does not matter to me anymore how the sun is able to
shine, how the weather behaves, how the many different species of
plants and animals come to inhabit the earth. How the minute
cells of living things are able to grow... The wonders of God are
really too much to comprehend. It's simply awesome!
But there is something I do know. The bible is God's chosen
medium of communication with humans. In every situation of our
lives, God is able to communicate with us if only we allow Him
Unfortunately, many people find it difficult or boring to read
the bible. They are missing a lot in their lives.
How can we encourage them? The book of Proverbs provides wisdom
on right living. Perhaps our compilation of "50 Secrets of Truth
and Life" might help. Done in pictorial form it is a lighthearted
way of looking at the Bible Proverbs. Perhaps that might just open up
The author stays in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia. Many years of
working experience in Marine, Facilities, Construction has given
the author material for writing e-books and articles related to
engineering, and management. Subscribe to
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