Story Thru the Bible

Why did God give us a book of stories rather than a theology textbook? Because human beings learn most naturally through stories. When words create pictures that we can understand and remember, the truth behind those pictures sinks in, transforms us, and sticks with us for years.

With Story Thru the Bible, anyone can be a Bible teacher or small-group leader. Simply tell the story and ask the thought-provoking questions that follow. The discussion and the Spirit take over, and insights and applications come to the surface naturally. And in the process, hearts and lives are changed.

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NavPress 2011, paperback and e-book
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Red Sea: Escape Through the Waters

Theme: God delivers His people from bondage.

Passage/Reference: Exodus 14

Background: It had been a traumatic deliverance in the middle of the night. All of Israel left their homes in Egypt suddenly and went into the desert as God led them—with a cloud and fire going before them. What were they feeling? Awe at God’s power? Fear of the repercussions? Anxiety about the unknown path in front of them? A mixture of all of the above? Any of those feelings would be understandable, and every human being can relate to them—especially in times of transition between the old and the new.

Pre-Story Dialogue: God overcame the enemy of His people, but that didn’t mean the enemy quit trying to enslave them or harass them. As you listen to the story in this session, think about how it illustrates what happens in our lives when God delivers us—what it’s like to leave an old life behind and enter into a new life. Notice also how God led His people and how He was watching out for them.

Tell the Story: The Lord told Israel to camp by the edge of the Red Sea. He knew Pharaoh would think the Israelites were confused and just wandering around the desert, and He knew Pharaoh would pursue them. But He wanted to gain more glory and show Himself to the Egyptians, so He led them to a place that looked like they were hemmed in.

Soon Pharaoh regretted letting the Israelites go and losing all those laborers, so he decided to pursue them. He gathered his army—chariots, horses, horsemen, and troops—and set out after them. And he came upon them where they were camping by the edge of the sea.

When the Israelites saw the Egyptians marching toward them, they were terrified and cried out to God. They complained to Moses because it looked like they had been led out into the desert to die. They even said it would have been better to remain in Egypt than to have come out to the desert to be killed.

Moses told them not to worry. He assured them that God would fight for them and that they would never see these Egyptians again. In fact, all they had to do was stand firm and watch the deliverance God would provide for them.

God then instructed Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea to divide the waters and tell the Israelites to move forward. He said the Israelites would go through on dry ground and the Egyptian army would follow them. Then the angel of God and the cloud that had been leading Israel went to stand between them and the Egyptians. All night long, the cloud kept them separate. Moses stretched out his hand over the waters, and God drove the waters back with a wind throughout the night. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through on dry ground with a wall of water on each side of them. The Egyptians followed the Israelites into the sea, but God confused their army and caused the wheels of their chariots to come off.

The Egyptians wanted to flee because they could tell God was fighting for Israel. After the Israelites had crossed to the other side and the Egyptians were in the middle of the sea, God told Moses to stretch his hand over the sea again. So Moses did, and at daybreak the water went back into its place. The Egyptians were swallowed up by the sea, and the entire army was destroyed. When the Israelites saw God’s great power, they feared God and trusted Him, and they also trusted Moses.

Discussion Questions

• Where did God lead the Israelites to camp? How do you think they felt about being led to such a vulnerable place?
• Why did God want to put His people in a vulnerable position? What did He say Pharaoh would do? What did He say He would do in response to Pharaoh’s actions?
• How did the Israelites feel when they saw the Egyptian army coming toward them? Did they feel confident in God’s power? Did they feel betrayed? Who did they blame for their predicament?
• What did Moses tell them they would have to do to be rescued?
• What did God do to protect Israel from Pharaoh and his army? What impossibilities did He overcome?
• How did the Israelites react to their deliverance?
• What do you think this story illustrates about our transition between old life without Christ and new life in Him? What past enemies do you have? What do we need to do to be rescued from our past enemies?
• What does this story teach us about the ways God leads us?
• How does this story make you feel about God’s ability to handle your problems?

Questions for Families/Children

• What happened to the Israelites after they left Egypt? Where did they end up camping?
• How did Pharaoh feel about letting Israel go? What did he do to try to get them back?
• How did the Israelites feel when they saw Egypt’s army coming after them? How would you have felt if you were stuck by a sea and an army was coming to get you? What would you say to God?
• How did God answer the Israelites? What did He tell them to do? How did He show that He was protecting them?
• Do you think God will protect us in the same way when we’re in trouble? Why or why not?
• What did the Israelites think about God when they saw His power and protection? Do you think He wants us to trust Him in the same way?

Memory Verse: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. . . . The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14)

Key Application: We must look to God to deliver us from whatever bondage we are in.

© 2011 by Walk Thru the Bible

©2013-present by chris tiegreen