05 Moses and the Israelites: Crossing the Red Sea

UNIT #: 
Lesson Theme: 
God gives victory to His people

Journey to the promised land

Bible Passage: 

Exodus 14:13-28

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17 Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”

19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20 It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22 The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24 At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25 He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

The Pursuers Drowned

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Four hundred years had passed since Joseph moved his family to Egypt.  These descendants of Abraham had now grown to over two million strong.  To Egypt’s new pharaoh, the Hebrews were foreigners, and their numbers were frightening.  Pharaoh decided to make them slaves so they wouldn’t upset his balance of power.

God heard their cries and rescued them.

Main Ideas: 

The Israelites were hostile and despairing, but Moses encouraged them to watch the wonderful way God would rescue them.  Moses had a positive attitude!  When it looked as if they were trapped, Moses called upon God to intervene.  Instead of giving into despair, Moses had the attitude to ‘stand firm and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish’.

The Lord told Moses to stop praying and get moving!  Prayer must be vital in our lives, but there is also a place for action.  When we know what do to, we should get moving.

There was no apparent way of escape for Moses and the Israelites, but, the Lord opened up a dry path through the sea.  As Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, the Lord ‘drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night’ (14:21).  The God who created the earth and water performed a mighty miracle at exactly the right time to demonstrate His great power and love for His people.

The word “Exodus” means “to exit”.  Moses and the Israelites exits Egypt by foot, through the Red Sea, on dry ground; the ‘waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left’ (14:22).  The Egyptians pursued after the Israelites, but all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and chariot drivers were drowned; as the Lord told Moses to stretch back his hand over the sea, so that the water may come back.  ‘Not one of them remained’ (14:28).  Thus, the Lord revealed His power to the Egyptians, letting them know, who is in control!  At the same time, the Israelites witnessed and testified the mighty deliverance the Lord accomplished through Moses.  ‘Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but, our pride is in the name of the Lord our God’ (Psalm 20:7).  So, the Egyptians took their pride in their chariots and their horses.

The Israelites did not have any of these, but the mighty and powerful God.  The Lord allowed them to take pride in His Holy and Glorious Name.  God gave them complete victory!


1.  Of what are you afraid?  List as many as you can.




2.  When we are afraid or in doubt, what have we forgotten?



Lesson Review: 

Multiple Choice:

1.  The                                of                                was going before the Israelite army.

2.  The Israelites went into the                             on dry                                        .

3.  The word Exodus means "                                      ".


1.                        Abraham lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

2.                       The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night.

3.                        Moses parted the sea for the Israelites to get away from away from the Egyptian army.

Values for Life: 

God led Moses and the nation of Israel, and he wants to lead us as well.  Is he preparing you, like Moses, for a specific job?  He will be with you; obey and follow.  Is He delivering you from an enemy or a temptation?  Trust him, and do what He says.  Just as He delivered the Israelites from their captors, He delivers us from sin, death and evil.  God comes to the rescue of His people.

We still have struggles, but we should never allow difficulties and unpleasant circumstances to turn us away from trusting God.

Life Response/My Decision: 

We may not be chased by an army, but we may still feel trapped.  Instead of giving in to despair, we should adopt Moses' attitude to "stand firm and ... see the deliverance the Lord will bring".  Sometimes we know what to do, but we pray for more guidance as an excuse to postpone doing it.  If we know what we should do, then it is time to get moving.

Memory Verse: 

Genesis 14:13

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of Abram.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day in which we can gather as your children to learn more about you. Thank you Father for loving us so much, that you sent your one and only Son, to die on the cross for our sins.  Forgive us Father for we are sinners.  We pray for your strength as we go through difficult times, we know that you are with us always.  Help us Father to be an example for others.

In Jesus name we pray,


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