"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.