"Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wonderful works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea" (Psalm 106:7, New Revised Standard Version, emphasis supplied).
I was wrong! Psalm 106:7 does not provide conclusive evidence that when Israel rebelled at the Red Sea, the subject of the rebellion was Israel's decision to use weapons to defend themselves rather than leaning fully on God to protect them. Again, this psalm does not prove it.
Let's review what coercive evidence we do have.
1. God did not use human weaponry in releasing Israel from Egyptian bondage. In the nine plagues culminating in the tenth, wherein the firstborn of man and animal died, no human weapons were used. This we know for sure. We also do not have record of any Israelites dying during or after the plagues. They seem to have come through the crisis intact.
2. They left Egypt unarmed. We know this from Scripture (See Light on the Dark Side of God) and from Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 282. "They [Israel leaving Egypt] were unarmed and unaccustomed to war. . ." (emphasis supplied).
3. They walked by faith through the Red Sea as if it were dry land (Hebrews 11:29), with armed Egyptians approaching swiftly from the rear.
4. Psalms 106:7 proves there was a rebellion at the Red Sea, but it does not say what the issue was that caused the rebellion; for that reason this text cannot be considered 100 percent proof positive that the rebellion was about the weaponry.
5. Soon they experienced war with Amalek at Rephidim. SOP is clear, that event would not have taken place except for their "murmuring." "Because of their murmuring against Him, the Lord suffered [allowed] them to be attacked" (Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 298), showing that this was not His ideal will for Israel. This was His "permissive" will--what He "willed" when He could not have His perfect will. (an issue that pertains to the great controversy and is a subject for another day.) But could their "murmuring" have included rebellion at the Red Sea?
What was the source of their weaponry? Where did they find it, make it, beg, borrow or steal it? From where did Israel's weapons come? My subjective assessment is that they picked up the dead Egyptians weapons that lay around them on the shore of the Red Sea. Then why is there no mention of it during the rest of the entire Biblical narrative? Particularly when that event played such a major part in our understanding of God through future years?
This question, which throughout history seemed inconsequential, is monumental as the character of God becomes the issue of the last days. At this time in history, Psalm 106:7 takes on enormous importance. But it is not coercive evidence such as you might find in a court of law, nailing the door shut on the case. It is highly persuasive evidence which should figure prominently in discussions in the days ahead.
Psalm 106:7 reads: "Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wonderful words; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea." (emphasis supplied throughout)
We learn several facts from this quotation.
The psalmist had the Exodus in mind when he penned these words. ". . .our ancestors, when they were in Egypt . . . "
He further tells when this event took place. It occurred "at the Red Sea." Do you see the connection? Egypt, Red Sea, Exodus . . .?
The Israelites "rebelled" at the Red Sea. Do you remember Scripture mentioning any rebellion at any time or place around the Red Sea? About what were they rebelling?
According to Strong's Concordance, the Hebrew word morah is translated "rebelled" in this passage in most modern translations. It is also translated as disobedient, disobey, or provoke, the last of which is found in the King James Version. There is no question that something happened around the Red Sea that triggered God's anger (as we now know it).
Did this rebellion occur when Israel arrived at the Red Sea? when they walked through the Red Sea? When they arrived on the far shore of the Red Sea? We have a hint of the answer in Hebrews 11:29. "By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land." They had faith when they walked through the Sea. Rebellion was not on their minds at that time.
When we connect these dots with information in Light On the Dark Side of God, there is a high degree of probability that the reason for the rebellion was when they saw the Egyptians' weapons lying on the ground and picked them up with the intent of protecting themselves with them. Remember, in Egypt the Lord was their only defense; they did not have to fight their way out of Egypt. From that moment God's ability to protect them in His own way was sharply curtailed. The free-will decision of the people themselves greatly handicapped God. From then on they would depend upon themselves for security and protection. This event greatly skewed humankind's impression of God, as He attempted caring for them while they were intent on caring for themselves.
Psalm 106:7 is the only verse I have found in the sacred text that openly suggests a rebellion at the Red Sea. Absent this verse the evidence is mostly circumstantial. In my opinion, this text nails it down.