The first reading picks up on the story in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Exodus. The Pharaoh Raamses II had given the Israelites permission to leave Egypt. So, all of them, dressed for the road, ate the Passover meal with their feet shod. Then, the six thousand families marched off together toward the Red Sea.
Meanwhile, the Pharaoh’s advisors made him see that it hurt Egypt to let the Israelite working men go. So, he dispatched six hundred armed chariots to intercept them, and to bring them back.
When the fleeing Israelites saw the Egyptian chariots pursuing them they moaned, complaining to Moses for bringing them on a “Fools’ Errand.” But, when Moses called up to God for directions, God told him to perform a do-or-die act of faith. He told him to order the whole people to march right into the depths of the Red Sea.
It was the craziest thing the people had ever heard of; but with the chariots baring down on them, and with none 0of them knowing how to swim, they made an act of faith that had them marching into the waves that then parted for them.
Paul in First Corinthians, 10:2 wrote of the Israelites, “They were baptized into Moses and the cloud and the Red Sea.” He called their trusting themselves to Moses and to the Red Sea their baptism. Conversely, our Baptisms were similar to the Israelites’ trusting themselves to Moses and the Red Sea.