Opening Questions and Prayer
When is a time you took matters into your own hands instead of waiting for others to help?
What was the result?
What are some ways people become impatient when waiting on the Lord?
Ask the Lord to guide your time today. Pray for patience and that you would listen to His leading in your life.
Read Exodus 14:1-4
All verses are in the NLT unless otherwise noted
1 Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: 2 “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon. 3 Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’ 4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.
Why would the Lord want His people to turn back toward the place of slavery from which they came?
When was a time the Lord asked you to do something that seemed backwards or didn’t make sense?
How did you respond?
How is the Lord increasing our faith in Him during those moments of confusion or uncertainty at His plans?
Read Exodus 14:5-9
5 When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. 6 So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. 7 He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.
Why does Pharaoh decide to go after the Israelites again, even after the destruction the Lord has caused upon the Egyptians?
How did Pharaoh’s pride get in the way of sound thinking?
How does pride factor into our lives when we take matters into our own hands?
What is one area of your life that you are allowing your pride to get in the way of what God wants to do?
Read Exodus 14:10-12
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
What are the Israelites afraid of and what is that fear based upon?
Why have they forgotten so quickly how the Lord had just rescued them from death the day before?
Why are followers of Christ sometimes quick to forget the promises and great things God has done in our lives?
What is something you can do daily to remind yourself of God’s goodness?
Read Exodus 14:13-14
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
What would have been difficult for the people of Israel to stand still and watch in this situation?
Why is it difficult to let the Lord fight for us?
What area of your life do you need the Lord to fight for you?
How can you be still and watch the Lord work this week in that area?
What are some active things you can do to strengthen your faith in the waiting?
Read Exodus 14:15-20
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. 18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord!”
19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
How did the Lord protect His people?
How can we “get moving” but also trust the Lord to fight for us?
What are you waiting on the Lord to do in your life?
What is He calling you to do while you are waiting?
Read Exodus 14:21-28
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
23 Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. 24 But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” 27 So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
How did the Lord make a way for the Israelites where there was no way?
How did He rescue the Israelites from their enemies?
How has the Lord rescued you?
In what ways can you tell your enemies (people you may not get along with very well) about the greatness of God and how He loves them?
Read Exodus 14:29-31
29 But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. 30 That is how the Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. 31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
Why were the Israelites filled with awe over this miracle and not all the plagues they had witnessed, many of which they were protected from?
What seemingly impossible situation is the Lord wanting to help you walk through?
What needs to happen so you can put your full faith in the Lord?
What is one thing you are going to do this week based on what you learned from this study?
Exodus 14:14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
Closing thoughts and prayer
We want to fix things, work on our problems, do things our own way. The way God calls us to live is the opposite. He wants us to allow Him to do all those things in our lives. We just have to have faith and allow Him to fight our battles. However, that doesn’t mean we just sit back and are inactive. He wants us to increase our faith by getting to know Him better. The Lord wants us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our life and follow Him where He leads. This is tough because we have to allow the Lord to rid us of our pride, and then fully surrender our lives to Jesus.
Spend some time confessing your sin of pride to the Lord. Ask Him for faith to trust Him, especially with the tough things in life.
End your time praying for those who need to hear the Good News of Jesus in their life. Also pray for our leaders in the church and country.