Read the full story here (Exodus 12-14)

Freedom from slavery and the crossing of the Red Sea

(Exodus 12:31–14:31)

It is always God’s will to set people free, from slavery, from fear, from evil, from addiction, from shame, from our own darkness.... But God does it in His own way.

Pharaoh finally allowed God's people to go free! God sent Prophet Moses to lead two million men, women and children through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night.

Yet Pharaoh hardened his heart again. He sent his army to pursue them as far as the Red Sea. The people were trapped. They cried out to God in terror.

Moses told the people not to fear because God was far bigger than their problem, and God was with them.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” (Exodus 14:13)

Moses lifted his staff, and the Angel of the Lord parted the water, allowing the people to walk across the sea on dry land. While Pharaoh's army pursued them, the waters then swallowed them up.

A whole new relationship with God

The purpose of this journey out of slavery was not just to live happily ever after. It was to bring God's people back to God's promises so that God’s covenant with all nations could be fulfilled.

But God did not take them directly to the land of paradise because they were not ready yet in understanding this new relationship with God. The people became very stubborn in their hearts. They repeatedly disobeyed God by blaming their problems on God, disrespecting Moses and worshipping false gods.

Wandering in the desert of life

(Exodus chapters 16-40)

Because of the people’s sin and disobedience, God made them wander in the desert for 40 years. These 40 years were repeated cycles of people breaking God’s Law and their covenant with God, and God’s judgement and mercy through renewing His covenant again and again.

The experience of wandering in the desert is often like our spiritual journey. The desert is a place where we learn who God really is, how false gods will only fail us, and how to trust and listen to God alone. For God’s people, this was a time when they saw their own hopelessness and shame, and also God’s mercy and plan of salvation.

No matter how hard the people tried, no one could save himself from sin. Only God’s mercy and help free us from this slavery of sin. Following God’s plan of salvation is our only hope! God would continue to reveal the details of this plan through future Prophets.

These are all hard lessons, but also the most important lessons every human needs to learn! This is why Prophet Moses’ writings are so important for people who want to obey God.

Your Response: Listen to God and Pray…

1. God performed powerful signs for His people and revealed His will clearly to them. Do you think He wants to do the same for you today?

2. From the story, what can you learn about God and the kind of relationship He wants to have with you?

3. Have you ever felt you are ‘wandering in the desert’? What do you think God is teaching you through the experience?

4. Who will you share this story with?

If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, pray to God and ask Him to reveal His will to you clearly. God always answers prayers that draw us closer to Him.