Israel was trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. They forgot all the miracles God had done. Where was their faith that God would deliver them?
The people of Israel left Egypt, rejoicing that they were free from slavery! God had used many miracles to deliver them. They had seen God’s great power and love for them. But now they were being led by Moses into the unknown.
Moses led the people out of Egypt through the wilderness to the Red Sea. But it was really God who was leading them. God provided a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night to guide them.
After several days they camped near the sea.
The people must have been fearful when they saw how wide and deep the sea was. They may have wondered, How are we going to cross over all this water to the other side? They probably thought they would drown trying to cross over the sea.
Meanwhile, God still had another plan for Pharaoh. He said, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart one more time so he will go after Israel. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”
So Pharaoh got his army ready and chased after them. He was sorry that he had let them leave. He wanted them back so they could continue to serve the Egyptians as slaves. He caught up with them camped by the sea.
Don’t be afraid
As the Egyptian army came close, the Israelites saw them. They were very afraid. They cried out to God to save them. They said, “It would have been better if we had stayed in Egypt and served them.”
But Moses told them, “Don’t be afraid. Stand still and see how God will save you. The Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.”
Then God told Moses, “Lift up your rod over the sea and divide it. The people will cross over on dry ground through the sea.”
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. God caused the sea to divide. Soon there was a path of dry ground all the way across the sea to the other side.
The people of Israel were still afraid, but they had to walk into the middle of the sea on the dry ground. The walls of water were way over their heads, on their right side and on their left.
There were so many people with all their herds and flocks, it would take a long time to get to the other side. So God moved the pillar of cloud behind them. Then the Egyptians couldn’t come near them.
Stopping the Egyptians
But as soon as they could, Pharaoh’s army, horses and chariots also went into the middle of the sea on the dry ground. They tried to hurry to catch up with the people of Israel.
God saw what the Egyptians were doing. He caused their chariot wheels to fall off. They were stuck in the middle of the sea, not able to go forward or backward.
After the Israelites walked safely to the other side of the sea, God said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand again over the sea. The waters will come back and cover up the Egyptians, their chariots and their army.”
As Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, the water returned to its full depth. The high walls of water closed together. The Egyptians struggled to try to get out of the sea. But the water returned quickly and covered the chariots, the horsemen and all of Pharaoh’s army that had come into the sea after Israel.
Not one of the Egyptians was left alive. All of them drowned.
So God saved the people of Israel that day from the Egyptians. Now the people feared God and believed Him and His servant Moses.
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang a song of praise. They thanked God for delivering them from the Egyptians. Though they soon forgot, they knew God had brought them safely through the Red Sea. They were now free to go and worship God.
Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:
- What do you think the people of Israel thought when they saw the Red Sea?
- Do you think they were afraid to go into the sea even though God had made a path of dry land for them? Would you have been afraid, seeing the walls of water on both sides of you?
- What do you think the people were thinking when they saw the Egyptian army chasing them?
- What did Moses and the people do when they saw the waters return and drown all the Egyptians?
Read more about God bringing Israel through the Red Sea in Exodus 14 through 15.