Did you ever ponder how blind we can be? This week’s reading gives us a lesson in how we can become caught up in events, unable to see outside the narrow scope of our own goals. And as a result, we miss out on something so crucial.
As the Jews journeyed out of Egypt, they found themselves cornered between the sea and the Egyptian chariots. They could either jump into the water and drown, or wait to be slaughtered. But at precisely that moment, G-d performed one more miracle for that generation: splitting the sea, allowing the entire nation to walk across the sea floor on dry land.
This was an obvious, open miracle, done on behalf of the same Jews on whose behalf Egypt had been punished so severely, culminating in the loss of all their first-born offspring. G-d had already done one miracle after another which helped the Jews by punishing the Egyptians.
This, however, did not deter the Egyptian chariots. Horse and rider chased the Jews right onto the sea floor.
Did they not see that this was obviously going to end badly? The Egyptians should have stopped their chariots and pondered the miraculous rescue of the Jews. To be fair, the splitting of the sea was preceded by a strong east wind (Ex. 14:21) so the Egyptians could have denied a miracle and attributed the splitting sea to a freak of nature. But didn’t they wonder how that historical anomaly happened to occur precisely at the moment the Jews needed it most?
This demonstrates the temporary blindness Pharoah and his men had at that moment. They were in hot pursuit after the fleeing slaves, focused entirely on their desire to recoup their national and personal losses. The sea split, millions of people walked through on the dry sea floor, and they just dismissed it all as a natural phenomenon, and imagined they would benefit from it as well. (Based on classic commentary of Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban/Nachmanides)
G-d is constantly involved in the events of the world, and the events of our lives. The miracles of the Exodus made that clear to all of mankind. However, we are often blind to His daily involvement, too absorbed in our own plans and pursuits. If we pull on the reins, and pause to consider, we can ponder the events of each day, and in that state of peace, notice the miracles He continues to perform, at just the right moments.