Exodus 14:1-31

Exodus 14:1-31


Ask God to guide your discussions and to experience his presence as you read his word together.

Have you ever felt unsure of the outcome of a significant future event or felt like you didn’t have what you needed to accomplish a particular task or get through a tough season? What happened in the end? How did God provide for that season?

The book of Exodus continues the story of Genesis. In a nutshell, Genesis tells the story of how God created the heavens and the earth, and everything God created was good.

At the pinnacle of this good world, God created humanity to live in a perfect love relationship with him and to image his glory to the world. The first man and woman were given a mission: to multiply and fill the earth with image-bearers of God so that the glory of God would cover the earth like the waters cover the sea (Gen 1:26-27). But an enemy crept into God’s creation, that ancient serpent, the Devil. And he deceived the man and woman, and the world was plunged into sin and death. God promised that one day a descendant of Eve would come as a deliverer, and he would crush the serpent’s head and lead humanity back into God’s presence forever. But until that day, there would be a battle between the Serpent's descendants and Eve's descendants (Gen 3:15).

The rest of Genesis tells the story of how God began to fulfill this redemptive promise through a specific descendant of Eve named Abraham. God came to Abraham and promised that through his family line, all the peoples of the world would be blessed (Gen 12:1-3). In other words, God was telling Abraham that the promised descendant of Eve, who would crush the serpent’s head and bring humanity back to God, would come through his line. Abraham had a son named Isaac, and Isaac had a son named Jacob, and Jacob had twelve sons, and God began fulfilling this redemptive promise.

But Genesis ends with a threat. A famine comes upon the land, and this family, chosen to be the family through whom the deliverer would come, is threatened with extinction. It appears that God’s promises hang in the balance. So they flee to Egypt and find relief there for the next 400 years. The chosen family is spared. This is where Exodus picks up.


Read Exodus Chapter 14:1-31 aloud.


Begin by examining the text together. What do you notice? What stands out? Who are the main characters? How are they characterized in the passage? What is surprising or hard to understand? 1


  • Exodus 14 shows God’s complete sovereignty over creation and that he is more powerful than any human ruler or authority. When is it hard to believe this? Why?
  • The story of the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea is our story too. How can we be encouraged by this story? What do we learn about God, and how we relate to him?
  • Exodus 14 shows us that God doesn’t always do what we want him to do when we want him to do it. The Israelites would have preferred it if God had destroyed their enemies immediately. Instead, the pursuit intensified before God dealt with the Egyptians decisively. How can we lean into the difficult circumstances of our lives as an opportunity to trust God? How can we remain faithful when God doesn’t immediately provide how we want him to?


Share some things you are trusting God for at the moment, and close your time by praising God for sovereignty and provision. Pray for confidence to trust God even when he doesn’t provide in the timing or way we hoped for and when you are still waiting for a resolution.
 1Example Observations:
  • The Israelites will have to endure the pursuit of the Egyptians before God delivers them. (v3-4)
  • God explains that he will be glorified by defeating Pharoah. (v3-4)
  • God doesn’t tell the Israelites how he will defeat Pharaoh. They have to trust him without knowing this detail (v3-4)
  • Pharaoh hardened his heart in v5 and God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in v8
  • The Israelites were anxious and terrified (v10).
  • The Israelites are disillusioned by Moses’ leadership in bringing them out of Egypt. It now seems better to them to live in slavery than die in the wilderness. (v11-12).
  • Moses exhorts the Israelites to trust God, who will save them (v13-14)
  • God performs a miracle, once again demonstrating his sovereignty over creation (v16, 21-22, 27-29)
  • The God of Israel triumphs over the god of Egypt, Pharaoh, showing himself to be the true God (v17-18).
  • The moving pillar of cloud is another demonstration of God’s sovereignty over creation (v19-20).
  • God’s people are saved, while those in rebellion are judged (v22-23)
  • The Egyptians recognize the God of Israel is too powerful to overcome, but they flee rather than repent (v25).
  • When the people see that God had saved them they fear and believe in God (v30-31).
  • Moses has to endure a crisis of faith in his leadership and is only vindicated later (v11-12,30-31).
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