The Israelites cried out to God in fear! Pharaoh and the Egyptian army pursued them with vigor. Not long before, God had freed the Israelites from Egyptian enslavement, but now with the Egyptian army behind them and a sea before them, how could they escape?
In anger, some Israelites shouted at Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die? You should have left us in Egypt. It would have been better for us to serve as slaves than die in the wilderness.” Despite the angry backlash, Moses responded, “Don’t be afraid. These Egyptians you see today, you will see no more. Today, you shall see the salvation of the Lord. The Lord will fight your battle. Calm yourselves.” Moses believed God would save them, but he did not know how. God said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to move forward. Lift your rod. Stretch out your hand. Divide the sea.”
The angel that God had sent before the Israelites moved between them and the Egyptians. The pillar of cloud moved too. For the Egyptians, the pillar brought darkness. For the Israelites, it gave light. Moses turned toward the great Red Sea, lifted his rod, and the waters parted. God sent a strong East wind to hold the waters back. In front of the Israelites stood a path of escape. The Israelites moved between the walls of water toward freedom while the Egyptians continue to pursue.
Despite the amazing phenomenon that was taking place, the Egyptians pursued after the Israelites right into the midst of the sea. The Israelites had not completed their escape to freedom, but God was not going to let the Egyptians have one Israelite. He frustrated the Egyptians pursuit. The wheels of their chariots became stuck in the sea bed as if they were being sucked off into deep mud. The Egyptians panicked. They realized that God was fighting for the Israelites and decided to turn back, but it was too late.
The morning had come, and the last Israelite had crossed to the other side safely. God told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea. Moses did. The walls of waters came crashing down over the Egyptians, and as Moses said, those who pursued them into the sea would trouble them no more. The Egyptians laid scattered on the seashore. The Israelites looked on in amazement. God had fought their battle, and they had great respect for Him.
Resource: Exodus 14
- And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14 ESV
- And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” Exodus 14: 24-25 ESV
- Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Exodus 14: 30-31 ESV
- Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn’t know what to do? If yes, what happened, and how did you feel?
- How did the Israelites feel when they realized they were pursued by the Egyptians? Is this a feeling some have today? Explain.
- Why were the Egyptians so determined to get to the Israelites?
- The Egyptians were so focused on getting to the Israelites that they missed an opportunity to marvel at the amazing things that were happening around them. Has this ever happened to you, and what would you do differently?
- How did God fight the battle on behalf of the Israelites?
- How did the Egyptians feel when they realized God was fighting for the Israelites? What did they do?
- Have you ever had someone fight for you and the enemy cowered at who helped you? What happened?
- How do you think the Israelites felt knowing God was fighting on their behalf?
- How do you feel when someone is fighting on your behalf? Why?
- During your trouble, don’t look back. Stay focused ahead.
- Sometimes, when we’re asking God for help, He has already given us what we need. We only need to recognize the tools and use them in our situations.
- No matter what is before you or behind you, God can create the path you need to move forward. Trust Him.
- Don’t get so focused on pursuing your goal that you miss the wonderful things happening around you. Experience the amazing in the present.
- When you trust God during your hard times, victory is guaranteed.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for fighting our battles. Even when it seems like we have nowhere to turn or we feel we are out of options, we can always turn to you and ask for help. Help us to recognize when you have sent us help. Help us to accept that help and move forward in faith. Father God, thank you in advance for this. We give you honor, glory, and praise. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.
Challenge: After reviewing the battle at the Red Sea, what past situation would you change based on what you learned? Pray, and ask God to strengthen you.
Comment: What is the one lesson you think everyone should know from this battle at the Red Sea? How are you going to apply this lesson to your life?