Ex. 12:29-41; 13:17-14:31
At midnight, it happened. God smote the firstborn of Egypt; from the king’s house to the deepest dungeon and the firstborn of the cattle. That was a harsh blow to a proud and haughty king, who was worshipped as a god. He called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Rise, go out from among my people…”
The Egyptians, also seeing the hand of God in their misery urged the Israelites to get out of the country quickly lest, “We shall all be dead.” In recognizing the power of God, they freely gave treasures of gold, silver and clothing to the Israelites.
During times of wars and civil upheavals, many people are sometimes displaced and travel great distances to safety. Nothing in modern times can compare to the vast number of Israelites who left Egypt in the exodus. Moses also took the bones of Joseph out of Egypt for burial in the new land. It is likely that they also took the remains of the other sons of Jacob with them too.
Man says that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. God, in His wisdom avoided the land of the Philistines. They were not ready for war and might become discouraged and want to return to Egypt.
Pharaoh realizing that the Israelites were not coming back decided to go out and capture them and return them to his service. He reasoned that since they seemed to be wandering in the wilderness, they were lost and would be easy to conquer.
When they saw the Egyptian army closing in on them with the Red Sea in front of them, the children of Israel cried out to the Lord and to Moses with the first of many of their wilderness murmurings. “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?”
The cloud and pillar of fire that had been leading the Israelites moved from the front to the back of the multitude. The cloud served as a shield to hide them from the Egyptians and the pillar of fire served them as a light.
Upon God’s command, Moses raised his rod over the sea and the water parted with a wall of water on both the right and left sides. The children of Israel crossed the sea on dry land. As Pharaoh’s army tried to follow them, their chariots broke down. Again God commanded Moses to raise his rod over the sea and the water crashed down upon the Egyptians and destroyed them in the sea. That was the final blow from God against Pharaoh.
“Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.”