The king of Egypt was told that the people had escaped. Then Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them. They said, “What have we done? We’ve let the people of Israel go! We’ve lost our slaves and all the work they used to do for us!”
So he had his chariot made ready. He took his army with him.
He took 600 of the best chariots in Egypt. He also took along all the other chariots. Officers were in charge of all of them.
The Lord made Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, stubborn. So he chased the Israelites as they were marching out boldly.
The Egyptians went after the Israelites. All Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen and troops chased them. They caught up with the Israelites as they camped by the sea. The Israelites were near Pi Hahiroth, across from Baal Zephon.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked back. 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!”
Moses answered the people. He said, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you today. Do you see those Egyptians? You will never see them again.
The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.”
Teaching Guide and Explanation
PHARAOH AND MOSES WITH GOD
TEXT: Exodus 14:5-14
MEMORY: And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.[Exodus 5:2]
God talked to Moses through the burning bush and ordered him to go back to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses was scared and had a hard time trusting God because Moses didn’t believe that he was good enough to do such a great job.
Have you felt like you weren’t good enough to do anything about it?
Finally, the time is NOW for Moses to return to Egypt. Since Moses had difficulty speaking, God had promised that Aaron would help him speak to Pharaoh. In the desert, Aaron met him and they went to Pharaoh together to ask him to free the Israelites from slavery.
In Egypt, the Israelites were enslaved. How do you think they felt?
Pharaoh had them work long hours building bricks to construct Egypt’s temples and pyramids. Do you think he was going to risk all that free labor? (No way!) Let’s read the word of God and hear the answer of Pharaoh. Read Exodus 5:2: “The Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should follow Him and let Israel go?
I don’t know the Lord, and I won’t let Israel go.” Pharaoh didn’t know the One True God. He knew just about the puny little Egyptian gods who had no real strength. So Pharaoh was ignorant of how powerful God really is! He soon had to conclude that not only did Pharaoh refuse to let the Israelites go but he made their task more difficult from then on! He said the slaves would have to keep producing the same amount of bricks, but they wouldn’t have the straw they wanted. That meant they’d have to go and pick their own straw before they could make their bricks. The job will take longer now! What do you think the Israelites think of Moses and his brother Aaron?
The people were angry.
They didn’t want to work any harder, but their lives were worse than before because of Moses and Aaron. They did not believe that God was going to save them from Pharaoh. They had forgotten how mighty God was and how much He cared for them. Moses felt bad, and he went before God and asked why things were much more worse.
God remembered Moses that he was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. God did not forget the promise that He made to Abraham years and years earlier to give His people their own country. Let’s hear again from the Word of God what God said to Moses… God ordered Moses to return to Pharaoh, and this time they would perform a sign (or miracle) that would show him the strength of God.
God ordered Aaron to throw his staff down to the ground, and when he did, it became a snake! Pharaoh wasn’t too impressed. He called his magicians, and they put down their staffs, which also became snakes. Suddenly, the staff of Aaron ate up the others! Pharaoh also did not believe that God was mighty, and he hardened his heart and refused to let the people go.
Was Pharaoh in charge of that? No way
It seemed like things were going wrong with Moses and Aaron. God sent them to Pharaoh to free the Israelites, and all they had done was to make the work much harder for the people. Pharaoh hardened his heart against God, even though God performed a miracle in front of him. Have things never gone your way to make you feel like God is no longer in control?
You might have asked for something that didn’t happen, or you might have felt like God wasn’t listening when you called out to Him. It might not always seem like that but God has a plan, and nothing (and no one can stop His plan!
Do you Know what happened to Jesus?
He was captured and killed in front of all his friends and family! They probably felt that God had forgotten about them as well.
They couldn’t see that God had a bigger purpose, that he was in charge. But what happened three days later, huh? That’s right, man! Jesus has been raised! Even if the disciples did not see it, God was still in charge. In reality, God used the death of Jesus as part of His great plan. Does anyone know what God’s intention was when Jesus died? Jesus died as a means to take away the punishment that our sin merits.
God’s great plan was to save humanity from sin just as He would save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Let us pray together and thank God for still being in charge and for carrying out His perfect plan to save us!
Our heavenly father, thank you for freeing us from slavery to sin in the way that you saved the Israelites from slavery to Pharaoh. We know that we can trust you to be in charge even though we can’t see when it seems like things are going wrong. Thank you so much for giving us grace and love every day! Amen. Amen.