When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. (Exodus 14:5-8 ESV)
This is a dark time for the people of Egypt. This is directly after the ten plagues. The last of these plagues being the death of the firstborn; including Pharaoh’s firstborn. Through all of this pain and turmoil, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.
It is interesting that God chose to harden Pharaoh’s heart. Question: Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?
Talking Points: One of the reasons God chose to harden Pharaoh’s heart was so that God could prove to them once more how powerful he is. Only God knew what was about to partake. He knew that Pharaoh would be filled with anger and would chase the Israelites. His anger led to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21 ESV)
What an amazing sight to see!! All Moses had to do was stretch his hand out over the water and God split the entire sea in half. There was dry land to walk on right in the middle of the schism.
Question: As an Israelite, how would you react to such an event?
Talking Points: The same God who performed the ten plagues and delivered you from Pharaoh has just split an entire sea in half. That would blow my mind. The power of God has no bounds. As creator of this world, he has complete control and dominion over its properties. It would be a fascinating site, but a little scary.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:30-31 ESV)