Summary: Faith can appear to look foolish, and foolishness can appear to look like faith. It is what God has to say about the situation that determines if it is faith or foolish. So, I better be listening to God.


In the Book of Hebrews, in the chapter that people refer to as the heroes of faith chapter, there is an interesting verse, if you take the time to sit down and dwell upon it. It is verse 29 and it says: Hebrews 11:29 (NKJV)

29 By faith they (referring to the Israelites) passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

Picture what this verse is saying. There are two distinct groups of people that have lived together in community for some four hundred (400) years- the Israelites and the Egyptians. Our Scripture says that both took a significant risk; they both did something very bold by trying to cross the Red Sea on dry land as the waters were being held back. And the outcomes were completely different. The Israelites successfully crossed, and the Egyptians drowned. And at the end of the day, looking back at what has occurred, we can say the Israelites did something that was spectacularly awesome, and the Egyptians did something spectacularly foolish.

And what can we learn from their story?



The Israelites crossed the Red Sea with waters piled up on each side of the dry seabed that they walked on. Exodus 14:22 (NKJV)

22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

The Egyptians attempted to do the exact same thing that the Israelites did by walking on a dry seabed with a wall of water on each side.

So, if you were there that day, and you didn’t know any of the facts and only knew what you saw then you would say the Israelites exercised great faith walking between that wall of water. But then based upon what you saw you would also conclude that the Egyptians exercised great faith walking between that wall of water, also.

But now let’s say we reviewed the Scriptures and so we now know the facts besides what we saw. The Israelites crossed over the dry seabed because that is what God told them to do through Moses and by faith, they acted on it. Exodus 14:21-22 (NKJV)

21 Then 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 into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

And if we reviewed the Scripture about the Egyptians and what God said about them, we know the facts besides what we saw. Exodus 14:26 (NKJV)

26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” There is no mention made that the Egyptians ever attempted to talk to the God of the Israelites before they tried to cross the Red Sea. They were not motivated by faith in God but by their selfish desire to get the Israelites back as slaves.

So, now that we know the facts, we know the whole story. The Israelites through faith acted wisely by walking through the Red Sea. The Egyptians motived by their selfishness acted foolishly walking through the Red Sea.

Do you realize if you don’t know the facts, you might claim somebody acted foolishly when they were operating wisely, and you might claim someone acted in faith when in actuality they were acting foolishly?

You may think Abraham acted foolishly leaving his family and his homeland to a land that he has not seen if you didn’t know God sent him.

You might think Noah acted foolishly spending so much of his life building an ark building since up to that point it has never rained if you didn’t know God told Him to.

You might think Joshua acted foolish in his first battle for the Promised Land by going against the city of the Jericho marching to claim victory if you didn’t know that was God’s battle plan.

But do you also realize if you don’t know the facts, you might think someone is acting spiritually when they are actually being foolish?

Saul offering a sacrifice to God prior to a battle because Samuel was late may seem spiritual except God told Saul to wait for Samuel. So, he acted foolishly.

Annias and Sapphira selling everything and bringing a substantial portion to the church might look like a great act of faith but when we discovered that they lied to the Holy Spirit about how much they were giving, we see how foolish this act was.

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