April 25, 2021 – Exodus 14

Lesson Date: April 25, 2021

Focal Scripture Passage: Exodus 13:21 – 14:31

AIM: To lead students to describe how the Lord guided, protected, and made a way of escape for Israel, and to encourage them to place their trust in God to do those same things for them.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Exodus 14 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the words, “Guide,” “Protect,” and “Way of Escape” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Prepare some index cards or small pieces of paper with the following scripture references written on them: Psalm 18:3; Psalm 32:8; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Give them to some students who are comfortable reading aloud.  Ask them to look up the verses and be prepared to read them to the class when you call for them during the “Personal Application” step.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the class today’s lesson is about one of the most familiar miracles in the Old Testament – when God parted the Red Sea so the children of Israel could cross over on dry land.  Tell the students that many people today say if God would do some miraculous thing for them they would believe in Him and obey Him.

Read Psalm 106:7-14.  One thing the Bible makes very clear is that people have short spiritual memories.  We would think those who saw God perform mighty miracles in Egypt would never doubt Him again, but the opposite is true.  Psalm 106:7 says the Israelites “provoked” God at the Red Sea.  Psalm 106:13 even tells us that after the Red Sea crossing they soon forgot God’s miraculous works.

Direct the students’ attention to the words written on the board.  Tell them in this lesson we will see how God guided the Israelites, protected them, and made a way of escape from their enemies.  The title of today’s lesson from Exodus 14 is God Makes A Way.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that two weeks ago we studied the terrible plagues God sent upon the Egyptians. Time after time Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the first Passover).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (1 Cor. 5:7).
    • Remind the students that the Passover lamb represents Jesus, whose blood covers our sin and protects us from spiritual death.
    • Ask: “What did Pharaoh do after God killed all the firstborn of Egypt?” (he told Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt).
  2. God Guided the Israelites.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 13:21-22.
    • Ask: “How did God guide the Israelites?” (with a miraculous pillar of cloud during the day and a miraculous pillar of fire throughout the night).
    • Tell the class the Israelites were going into unfamiliar territory, but they always had a visible manifestation of God’s guidance before them.
    • Stress the fact that God miraculously guided the Israelites when there was no natural way for them to know where they should go.
    • Read Exodus 14:1-4.
    • Explain that God led the Israelites to camp with their backs to the sea.
    • Ask: “From a human perspective, what was wrong with that location?” (they had no way of escape; if an enemy attacked they would be trapped).
    • Ask: “What did God say Pharaoh would think?” (that the Israelites were lost and trapped in the wilderness).
    • Ask: “What did God say He was going to do to Pharaoh?” (harden his heart so he would pursue the Israelites).
    • Tell the students God also said He would receive honor from what He was going to do to the Egyptians and prove to them that He is the true God.
    • Summarize: God miraculously guided the Israelites with pillars of fire and cloud. He led them to camp in an apparently indefensible position by the Red Sea.
  3. Pharaoh Pursued the Israelites.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:5-8.
    • Tell the class that Pharaoh learned that the Israelites had departed (this should not have been a surprise: he ordered them to leave – Ex. 12:31-32).
    • Ask: “According to verse 5, what did Pharaoh and his advisors ask themselves?” (“Why have we freed Israel?”).
    • Tell the students this reminds us that God can control the thoughts and actions of lost people, even making them do things they later wonder why they did. This should encourage our hearts when we have people in authority over us who do not know God.
    • Read Exodus 14:9.
    • Tell the class that Pharaoh pursued the children of Israel with all his mighty chariots, catching up to them where they were camped with their backs to the sea.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:10-12.
    • Ask: “How did the Israelites react to the sight of Pharaoh’s chariots roaring toward them?” (they were afraid, they cried out to the Lord, and they complained to Moses).
    • Ask the students to name the things the Israelites said to Moses in verses 11-12 (they asked why he brought them out in the wilderness to die, they said they had asked Moses to leave them alone in Egypt, and they said they would rather be slaves in Egypt than die in the wilderness).
    • Summarize: When Pharaoh realized the Israelites were gone, he pursued them with his mighty chariots. The Israelites were terrified and complained to Moses.
  4. God Protected the Israelites.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:13-14.
    • Ask: “What did Moses tell the people?” (stand still and see God’s salvation, they would never again see the Egyptians, and God was going to fight for them).
    • Read Exodus 14:15-18.
    • Explain that God told Moses to lift his rod and stretch out his hand over the sea. He promised to part the sea so the Israelites could go across on dry ground.
    • Ask: “What did God say the Egyptians would do?” (pursue the Israelites into the sea).
    • Tell the class God also said He would receive honor by destroying the Egyptians.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:19-20.
    • Ask: “How did God protect the Israelites from the Egyptians?” (He placed the pillar of cloud between the Egyptians and the Israelites so the Egyptians could not pass through to attack).
    • Ask: “What was this pillar of cloud’s effect on the Egyptians?” (it put them in darkness). Ask: “What was its effect on the Israelites?” (it gave them light all night).
    • Stress the fact that God miraculously protected the Israelites when there was no natural protection for them.
    • Summarize: God protected the Israelites from the attacking Egyptians, supernaturally keeping them separated all night.
  5. God Made a Way of Escape for the Israelites.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:21-22.
    • Ask: “What did God do to make a way of escape for the children of Israel?” (He parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross over on dry land).
    • Ask: “What was the condition of the ground on which the Israelites walked through the sea?” (it was dry).
    • Tell the class if you removed the water from a sea or river the bottom would be a slippery, slimy muck. Miraculously, this seabed was absolutely dry – so dry that 2,000,000 or more Israelites, along with their flocks and herds, crossed over on dry
    • Ask: “What was the sea water doing while the Israelites crossed over?” (it stood up like a wall on either side).
    • Stress the fact that this was not a shallow marsh with a foot or two of water; it was a sea with enough water to make walls on either side.
    • Read Exodus 14:23-25.
    • Tell the class the Egyptians pursued the Israelites, following them right into the midst of the sea on the dry ground the Israelites had just crossed.
    • Ask: “What did God do to the Egyptians?” (He troubled them by causing their chariot wheels to fall off).
    • Ask: “What did the Egyptians realize?” (the Lord was fighting for the Israelites and against them).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 14:26-28.
    • Ask: “What did God do to the Egyptians?” (He caused the sea to return to its normal place and drown all of them).
    • Read Exodus 14:29-31.
    • Ask: “How did Israel pass through the sea?” (on dry land).
    • Ask: “Where did the Israelites see the Egyptians?” (dead on the sea shore).
    • Ask: “How did the Israelites react to this?” (they feared the Lord, believed the Lord, and believed Moses).
    • Stress the fact that God miraculously made a way of escape for the Israelites when there was no natural escape route for them.
    • Summarize: God miraculously parted the Red Sea to make a way of escape from the pursuing Egyptians.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention to the word “Guide” on the board.  Tell them the Israelites needed guidance through an unfamiliar wilderness so God led them with a miraculous pillar of fire and pillar of cloud.  Tell the students we probably won’t see such supernatural signs to give us guidance, but God will guide us through His Word.  Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read Psalm 32:8 and John 16:13.  Ask if anyone would like to briefly tell how God has guided them in the past.  Tell the class that God still guides His people.

Direct the students’ attention to the word “Protect” on the board.  Tell them when the Egyptian chariots approached, God protected the Israelites by placing the pillar of cloud in their path: the Egyptians could not get through to harm God’s people.  Tell the students God may not protect us in such an obviously supernatural way, but He will protect His people.  Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Psalm 18:3.  Ask if anyone would like to briefly tell a way God has protected them in the past.  Tell the class that God still protects His children.

Direct the students’ attention to the words “Way of Escape” on the board.  Tell them God made a miraculous way of escape for the ancient Israelites by parting the Red Sea so they could cross over on dry land.  Not only that, He used that same sea to completely destroy Israel’s enemies.  Tell the students God may not literally divide a sea so we can escape danger or temptation, but He still makes ways of escape for His people.  Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Ask if anyone would like to briefly tell how God has made a way of escape for them in the past.  Tell the class that God still makes ways of escape for His children.

Ask: “Do you need God to guide you, protect you, or make a way of escape from some dangerous or tempting circumstance?  If so, why don’t you tell Him so right now?”  Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Encourage them to place their trust in God for guidance, protection, and a way of escape as you voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Encourage the students to talk to God whenever they need guidance, protection, or a way of escape from a hopeless situation.

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