International Sunday School Lesson for November 17, 2013
Purpose: To see the possibility of God’s deliverance in all circumstances
Background: Exodus 13:17-22; 14
Exodus 14:21-30 (CEB)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord pushed the sea back by a strong east wind all night, turning the sea into dry land. The waters were split into two.22 The Israelites walked into the sea on dry ground. The waters formed a wall for them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians chased them and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and cavalry. 24 As morning approached, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian camp from the column of lightning and cloud and threw the Egyptian camp into a panic. 25 The Lord jammed their chariot wheels so that they wouldn’t turn easily. The Egyptians said, "Let’s get away from the Israelites, because the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!"
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the water comes back and covers the Egyptians, their chariots, and their cavalry." 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. At daybreak, the sea returned to its normal depth. The Egyptians were driving toward it, and the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the cavalry, Pharaoh’s entire army that had followed them into the sea. Not one of them remained. 29 The Israelites, however, walked on dry ground through the sea. The waters formed a wall for them on their right hand and on their left.
30 The Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians that day. Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
My thoughts by Burgess Walter
The story told about the Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, is a story we can all relate to in our own story of rescue by God. Like the Children of Israel we faced a multitude of seemingly unsurmountable problems prior to our acceptance of God into our lives.
The story of the crossing of the Red Sea has been given a bit of a boost by modern day archeologist that claim to have found pillars put up by King Solomon on both shores of the crossing. They also claim to have found chariot wheels at the bottom of the Reed (Red)Sea.
The story of the escape from Egypt has been used as a rallying cry throughout Jewish history. Both as proof of God’s existence and of his looking after His people. The story has been told and retold as an example of God’s deliverance.
For me after reading and hearing the story, I have to wonder how those that experienced it were so quick to forget it and continually rebel against Moses and God and wish they were back in Egypt under the rule of a cruel Pharaoh. I suppose some would say the same about us that have been rescued by God in our own lives. We too seem guilty of wanting to go back to our old lives and our old ways.
I have been told that God’s greatest attribute is His “goodness”. In this story of rescue and deliverance we can see God’s goodness at work. One can almost hear God saying, as He did after creation, “this is good”.
When we abide in Him, we can have the assurance that we can be rescued, regardless of what we have gotten ourselves into. Not that the consequences will be removed, but that peace can be found “under his wing”. No matter where we go, God can find us and rescue us and place our feet on solid ground, when we cry out to Him.
Think back to a time when you were rescued by God, now share that with those you love. That is the story of God’s children being rescued from Egypt.