STUDY Hebrews 11:29 (click here for notes)

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. (NIV)


When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he commenced the third and final 40-year period of his life. The story of their first great challenge after leaving Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, is recorded in Exodus 13:17­15:21.

1. The Israelites could have avoided the Red Sea and taken a shorter route to Canaan. Whey did God take them through the desert by the Red Sea? (Exodus 13:17-18a)


2. What preparations did Israel make for their journey? (see Exodus 3:21-22; 13:18b; 19)


3. How did God provide for the Israelites on this journey? (Exodus 21-22)


God's Glory

God instructed Moses where to lead the Israelites and where to have them camp. He told Moses Pharaoh would pursue them, but he didn't tell Moses how he would deliver them.


4. After Egypt's suffering through ten life-threatening plagues culminating in the death of the firstborn, one might expect Pharaoh to consider the exodus of the Hebrews slaves a welcome relief. Why did he change his mind and pursue them after giving them permission to leave? (see Exodus 14:4a, 8)


5. Why did God have Pharaoh pursue Israel instead of letting him be thankful they were gone? (see Exodus 14:4b; 13-14; 17-18)


6. What was God's concern that Egypt recognize him as Lord foreshadowing? (see Exodus 9:13-16; Isaiah 19:19-25; Romans 9:17-18; 22-26; 1 Peter 2:10; Ephesians 3:6; Colossians 1:25-27)


Be Still

7. So soon after the plagues and the miraculous sparing of the Israelite firstborn, the Hebrews turned on Moses when they saw the Egyptians approaching. What was Moses' answer to them when they turned on him with fear? (Exodus 14:14)


8. How did this answer contradict the Israelites' perception of themselves? (see Ex. 13:18; 14:8)


9. What are some other occasions when God's word to Israel was to "stand still" or rest? (see Exodus 33:14; 1 Samuel 12:12-18; Psalm 37:7; 46:8-10; 116:7; Isaiah 28:12; 30:15; Zechariah 2:10-13)


10. How did Jesus expand our understanding of Israel's commands and promises of rest and being still? (see Matthew 11:28-29; Hebrews 4:1-11)


11. What are some other examples of God fighting for Israel? (see Deuteronomy 1:26-30; 3:21-22; 20:1-4; Joshua 10:12-14; 23:1-5; 2 Samuel 5:22-24; Psalm 24:7-8; Isaiah 42:1, 10-13)


12. What are some ways God fights for us in the New Covenant? (see Matthew 10:19-10; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 6:10-18; Revelation 19:11-16)


Protected by Light

13. How did God protect the Israelites from the approaching Egyptians during the night? (Exodus 14:19-20)


14. The cloud paradoxically brought both light and darkness: light to Israel, darkness to Egypt. How are God and his truth often described throughout the Bible? (see Psalm 27:1; 104:2; 110:105; Isaiah 60:19; John 1:1-5; 8:12; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 1:5)


15. What keeps people from seeing the light? (see John 3:19-20; Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 5:8-14; 2 Corinthians 2:13-16; )


16. What enables people finally to see the light? (see John 3:21; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 1:6-7)


17. Explain how the presence of God could be both light to the Israelites and dark to the Egyptians at the same time. (see Isaiah 45:7)


Universal Truths

18. How do you explain God hardening Pharaoh's heart (and other hardenings, such as Saul hardening against David)?


19. Name all the ways you can think of in which the story of Israel escaping from Egypt through the Red Sea is a type of salvation.


20. To what might we compare Egypt and Israel in the New Covenant?


21. If God wanted Egypt to acknowledge that He was Lord (Ex. 14:4), why did he arrange to have Pharaoh harden his heart and lead his soldiers into a death which God orchestrated?



22. What circumstances in your life clearly are the results of God's sovereign intervention?


23. On what can you look back, knowing God protected you with his light and truth even before you recognized danger?


24. On what in your life is God shining his light of truth and asking you to bring it out of darkness into his presence?


24. With what is God asking you to trust him, resting and being still before him and allowing him to take care of the problem or confusion?


25. Ask God to teach your heart and mind to rest. Ask him to reveal to you how he wants you to grow and change, and allow his Holy Spirit to bring truth into your understanding and God's wisdom and healing into your circumstances. Let Jesus give you rest, and ask him to be in charge of the circumstances that need managing.


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