The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians. They appealed to God for deliverance. He heard their appeal and sent Moses to ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. Pharaoh refused and God sent ten plagues to convince Pharaoh. After the Pharaoh realized that God will not stop until the Hebrews were released he let them go.
The shortest road from Goshen to Canaan went through the Philistine country. But God didn't lead them that way. God said, "If they have to go into battle, they might change their minds. They might return to Egypt."
So God led the people toward the Red Sea by taking them on a road through the desert. (Exodus 13: 17-18)
Remember that the reason the Israelites were in Egypt in the first place is because Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, he saved up grain because he interpreted Pharaoh's dream, his brothers come for food, etc (both you and your students should be very familiar with this story by now!). Joseph still remembered that Egypt wasn't his home, and he didn't want to be buried there. "Moses took the bones of Joseph along with him. Joseph had made the sons of Israel take an oath and make a promise. He had said, 'I'm sure that God will come to help you. When he does, you must carry my bones up from this place with you.'" Exodus 13:19.
After the Hebrews left, Pharaoh changed his mind (again!) and pursued them to the edge of the Red Sea. God parted the sea long enough for the Hebrews to cross over to the other side. Once they were across God closed the gap in the sea and drowned the pursuing Egyptian army. The Hebrews were free!
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. It guided them on their way. At night he led them with a pillar of fire. It gave them light. So they could travel by day or at night. 22 The pillar of cloud didn't leave its place in front of the people during the day. And the pillar of fire didn't leave its place at night. Exodus 13:21
The Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years.
Aaron's sister Miriam was a prophet. She took a tambourine in her hand and all the women followed her, playing tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them,
"Sing to the Lord.
He is greatly honored.
He has thrown Pharaoh's horses and their riders
into the Red Sea." Exodus 15:20-21
What is the deepest water or largest body of water you have ever swam in? Were you nervous the first time you did it? Could you touch the bottom?
Today, we're going to learn about how the Israelites escaped from Egypt and got across a large body of water.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Exodus 13:17-22, Exodus 14:23-31
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?