Thursday’s Story – Moses: Crossing the Sea
It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn’t lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, “If the people encounter war, they’ll change their minds and go back to Egypt.” So God led the people on the wilderness road, looping around to the Red Sea. God went ahead of them in a Pillar of Cloud during the day to guide them on the way, and at night in a Pillar of Fire to give them light. The Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night never left the people.
God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.
“Pharaoh will think, ‘the Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness had closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s mind stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display.” And that is what happened. When the king of Egypt was told that the people were gone, he and his servants changed their minds.
So he had his chariots harnessed up and got his army together. He took six hundred of his best chariots, with the rest of the Egyptian chariots and their drivers coming along. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them.
Egyptians! Coming to get them! They were really afraid. They cried out in terror to God. Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today.” God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me! Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea!
The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.”
The Pillar of Cloud moved so that it was between the Israelites and the Egyptians, then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and God made the sea go back, and made the seabed dry ground.
The Israelites walked through the sea with the waters forming a wall to the left and right. The Egyptians chased after them, every horse and chariot in pursuit.
God said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea and the waters will come back over the Egyptians.”
Moses stretched his hand out over the sea. The waters returned, drowning all of Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites had reached dry land the other side.