Moses returns to Egypt to deliver God's message to Pharaoh. Pharaoh refuses to release God's people so God sends ten plagues against Egypt. After the Passover, Moses and Aaron lead the Israelites out of Egypt until they reach the Red Sea where God performs an amazing miracle!
Moses gulped. His hands were shaking, his knees were knocking and his teeth were chattering. By his side stood his brother Aaron and in front of both of them were the huge wooden doors of the throne room. As they watched, the doors began to swing slowly open and there, sitting on a golden throne, surrounded by servants and guards and advisers and magicians was Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
“Bow before Pharaoh!” commanded one of the servants.
Moses and Aaron bowed and then walked towards the throne.
Pharaoh looked at them as if they were something nasty that he had stood in. “Speak!” he ordered and they spoke. They told Pharaoh what God had said to Moses from the burning bush – “Let my people go!”
“Who is this God of yours that I should listen to him?” demanded Pharaoh. “Why should I let my slaves go free? Now go away and tell your people to get back to work!”
So Moses and Aaron left and Pharaoh made the Israelites work harder than ever before. But God said to Moses “Go to Pharaoh again, tell him to let my people go. He will refuse and then you will see what I will do to him.”
God was right, when Moses and Aaron went back to Pharaoh and told him to let the people go he refused. Now it was war!
God told Moses to hold out his shepherd's staff and the battle began. First God turned all of the water in Egypt to blood, but Pharaoh turned up his nose and pretended he didn't care. Then God made frogs leap from the River Nile and hop all over the land. Pharaoh told Moses that the Israelites could leave, but as soon as the frogs were gone he changed his mind. God struck again, sending swarms of gnats and flies that covered the Egyptians. Again Pharaoh said the Israelites could leave and again he changed his mind. God turned up the heat – he killed every cow in Egypt except for the ones belonging to the Israelites, then he covered the Egyptians in horrible, itchy boils and sent a storm of hail and thunder and lightning, bigger than any storm that had ever been seen in Egypt. Still Pharaoh would not let God's people go, so God sent a cloud of locusts that ate up all of the crops in the fields and then he plunged Egypt into darkness – nobody could see a thing for three days, except where the Israelites lived. But still Pharaoh would not let God's people go. It was time for a knockout blow. In the middle of the night God took away the life of the oldest son of every Egyptian family. When he realised what had happened Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. “Leave us!” he groaned, “Take your people and go!”
They didn't need to be told twice. Even though it was still dark, Moses and Aaron gathered together the people and the Israelites marched out of Egypt like an army. They marched for three days until they reached the shores of the Red Sea and there they set up camp. But still they weren't safe. It was the middle of the night when someone raised the alarm. An army had been seen in the distance, heading straight for them. At the head of the army was Pharaoh and he wanted revenge.
The Israelites realised that they were trapped and they began to panic – on one side was Pharaoh's army and on the other side was the sea. Surely they were all going to be killed.
Then God spoke to Moses, “Tell the people to get moving. Use your shepherd's staff – hold it out over the water and a path will open up through the sea.”
So Moses walked towards the edge of the water until the waves were lapping at his feet, then he held out his staff over the sea. The staff began to shake, slowly at first and then faster and stronger so that Moses had to hang on to it with both hands. Suddenly an invisible force seemed to explode from the staff and Moses felt as if he were standing in the middle of a hurricane. As the wind whirled around he saw the water in front of him begin to split in two. The water rose up and up on each side of him until there was a mountain of sea to his left and another to his right and a valley of dry ground stretching out in front of him. Moses looked back at the people and called out “Quickly, go, trust God and cross the sea now!”
The Israelites were still afraid, but Pharaoh's army was getting closer and closer. At first just a few people were brave enough to step between the walls of water but then more and more followed and soon all the Israelites were charging across the Red Sea. Behind them, Moses could see that the Egyptian army was following them across the path of dry ground and they were getting nearer.
As the sun began to rise the last of the Israelites reached the far side of the sea and God spoke to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again.”
So Moses held out his staff and the wind that had been holding back the water stopped instantly. The two enormous mountains of water began to slide back down, pouring into the valley of dry ground. When the Egyptians saw what was happening they turned and began to run back towards the other side but they were too late and all they could do was cover their heads with their arms as the water crashed down upon them. As the sea fell flat with a thunderous roar the Israelites realised that not a single one of the Egyptians had made it across. God had rescued his people from Egypt once and for all – they were free at last. The question was, where were they going now?