... All of Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen and troops went after them. They caught up with them as they camped by the sea. The Israelites were near Pi Hahiroth, across from Baal Zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up. There were the Egyptians marching after them! The Israelites were terrified. They cried out to the Lord.
They said to Moses, "Why did you bring us to the desert to die? Weren't there any graves in Egypt? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? We told you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians.' It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert!" (New International Reader's Version)
The Israelites had just witnessed what was probably the second greatest supernatural event in history after the creation of the world. Ten separate, unique, and consecutive supernatural events that God brought to Egypt under the leadership of Moses, all for them. They were being led by a pillar of cloud moving in front of them during the day and a pillar of fire at night. This must of been a remarkable sight. Now God had led them to a spot pinned by the pursuing Egyptians against the great Red Sea. God had shown them his complete control over the natural world and they could only imagine that he had led them to a spot where they were trapped and couldn't get out. He led them out of Eqypt only to die in the desert? Wow, what a short term memory they had!
Honestly I can relate. I have had reactions like this to my own circumstances and missed what God was doing or had done. It is like sometimes I have blinders on and miss what is going on.
Barbara Quinn, an author, describes this as "sort of selective memory, recalling God's power and then letting fears block that memory. It's a spiritual amnesia, usually contracted by a hard knock from the world." She goes on to write "the surest cure for forgetfulness is going back to the beginning and reminding ourselves of God's track record".