TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 14:1-14
TO CHEW ON: "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' ” Exodus 14:13,14
After a few days of traveling in the desert, the Israelites’ excitement at being free started to wear thin. Even though they were no longer slaves, walking for miles every day under the hot sun wasn’t exactly easy either.
But one thing this crowd of about two million people didn’t need to worry about was getting lost. From the beginning God showed them the way. In the day He led them with a cloud. In the night that cloud lit up as if filled with fire. Whenever the cloud moved, the Israelites moved. When it stopped, they camped.Israelites leaving Egypt - Artist unknown
In a few days they found themselves camped in a dead end, between rocks, desert and the sea. But God had led them here, so it must be okay.
Meanwhile back in Egypt, Pharaoh couldn’t believe he let the Israelites go. What was he thinking? Such a huge...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 42:1-17
TO CHEW ON: “Joseph said to them, ‘It is just as I told you: You are spies! And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.’” (Genesis 42: 14,15)Joseph was made a ruler in Egypt
The dream Joseph explained to Pharaoh came true. After seven years of good crops the rains stopped and crops were poor. Everyone was hungry. When the people came to Pharaoh for food, he sent them to Joseph.
Joseph had collected food in storehouses during the good years. Now he sold the storehouse food to the hungry people. Soon people from countries all around were coming to Joseph for food too.
One day ten foreign travelers came to Joseph. They looked familiar. Suddenly he knew why. They were his brothers! What thoughts do you think went through Joseph’s mind as he saw his brothers again after all those years?
Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him. And he didn’t tell them who he was. “Where are you from?” he asked them roughly. When they told him, he said, “You’re lying. You’re spies.”
“No!” they said. “We’re all sons of one father. Only our youngest...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 46:28-34
TO CHEW ON: "Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father, and wept for a long time." Genesis 46:29
Have you ever been separated from people you love?
Perhaps you spent a week at camp. Or your parents live apart and you get to see one of them only seldom. Or you moved far away from your grandparents.
What feelings do you have when you’re about to meet them again:
nervous, excited, like crying, like laughing, worried, impatient, scared, happy
I’m sure Joseph was having some of those feelings while he waited for his father to arrive in Egypt. Finally the day arrived. Judah went ahead of the others. He found Joseph and said, “The whole family is here. Where do we go?”
Joseph got in his chariot and rode out to meet his father. What did he do when he saw Israel?_______________________ (Genesis 46:29).
We usually think of people crying when they are hurt or sad. But people also cry when they are happy. Getting back together with the people we love most, like family, is one time we easily cry tears...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:23-3:12
TO CHEW ON: "And God said, 'I will be with you.'" Exodus 3:12a
Moses got away from Pharaoh that day. He ran to the desert. There he lived with a nomad family. He lived with them for forty years. He tended sheep for the man, married one of the family’s daughters and had two sons.
I wonder what he thought about during those lonely hours when he was tending sheep. Perhaps he wished that he had the day he killed the Egyptian to live over again. Maybe he felt bad because now he was sure he would never help his people like he wanted to. He may have thought his life had been wasted.
Then one day while tending the sheep:
- What strange thing did he see? 1] (Exodus 3:2) _________________- When he went to check it out, what did he hear? 2] (Exodus 3:4) ____________- What did God tell him to do? 3] (Exodus 3:5) ______________- Then what assignment did God give him? 4] (Exodus 3:10) ________- When Moses said he couldn’t do this job, God gave him a promise. Put the words of God’s promise (below) in the right order: 5] ____ ____ ____ ____ ___...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 40:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please." Jeremiah 40:4
The people from Jerusalem, bound and chained, had set out on the long march to Babylon. Jeremiah was with them. Then at Ramah a surprising thing happened. Nebuzaradan, a commander in the Babylonian army, found him.
“I know about your God and how this is a punishment for the sins of the people,” he said. “But today I’m going to set you free.”
With that he took the chains off Jeremiah’s hands and feet. “You can come with me,” he went on, “or go wherever you like in the country. If you stay here you might want to go to Mizpah. There Gedaliah is watching over everyone who is left.”
So Jeremiah went to live with Gedeliah. Again God had helped him. This time He had sent an enemy commander to set him free....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 7:1-13
TO CHEW ON: “ Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” Exodus 7:4b, 5
Suppose someone told you to do something but at the same time told you that you would fail? Wouldn’t you be tempted to ask what’s the use and then not do it?
This is what happened to Moses and Aaron. When God told them about talking to Pharaoh, He said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. At first Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron.
But God also told Moses the end of the story. In the end God would judge the Egyptians for mistreating the Israelites. The Israelites would be allowed to leave Egypt.
Many things in life are the same way. We may not have friends on the first day at a new school, but if we keep being friendly, we will make new friends. We may not understand the math lesson the first time the teacher explains it, but if we keep trying, finally...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 4:1-17
TO CHEW ON: "He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if it were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it." Exodus 4:16,17
Suppose you have these jobs. Which tool(s) would you pick to do each one?
1. empty water from a boat2. plant a garden3. cut grass4. write a story5. take a picture6. cook dinner7. paint a house8. rake leaves
Obviously we need different tools for different jobs.
When God gave Moses the job of bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave him tools for that job. These tools may have seemed surprising to Moses....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 41:1-16, 39,40
TO CHEW ON: “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’” (Genesis 41:39,40)
Two years passed after the cup bearer was set free, Joseph was still in prison.
One night Pharaoh had a dream. It scared him and he wanted to know what it meant. But when he called his wise men and magicians, they couldn’t tell him the meaning of the dream.
Then someone remembered a dream he had had, and the young Hebrew prisoner who told him what it meant. It was the cup bearer. At last he remembered Joseph!
Servants came for Joseph. They took off his prison uniform, put new clothes on him and brought him to Pharaoh.
Pharaoh told Joseph his dream – and Joseph told him the meaning! Then Pharaoh did something amazing. He made Joseph the second boss in the whole land.
I’m sure Joseph often wondered, will the cup bearer ever think of me? Will I ever get out...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 44:1-13,33-34
TO CHEW ON: “’Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.’” (Genesis 44:33,34)
Joseph’s brothers went back to their father with food. They told him about the mean Egyptian prince who said they must bring Benjamin with them next time. But Jacob said he would never let Benjamin go.
Soon the grain was gone and the family was desperate for food again. The brothers begged Jacob to let Benjamin go with them. Finally Benjamin’s older brother Judah promised that if the Egyptian prince threatened any harm to Benjamin, he would take his place.
When the brothers got to Egypt, the prince did a strange thing. He invited them to his home and served them a banquet. He even seated them in order of age from oldest to youngest. Then he gave Benjamin five times more food than everyone else. Finally he sent them on their way with the supplies they needed.
No sooner had they...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:11-15
TO CHEW ON: "The man said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?' Then Moses was afraid and thought, What I did must have become known." Exodus 2:14
Fast forward 40 years. Moses was all grown up. Though he was raised in the palace as a prince, deep inside he loved the Hebrew people – his people.
One day he saw an Egyptian slave master beating a fellow Hebrew. He looked around to make sure no one was watching.Moses kills the Egyptian - Artist unknown
Then he drew his sword, killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
The next day he happened to be walking by when he saw two Hebrew men fighting. He tried to break up the fight. But one of them said to him, “Who made you our boss? Are you going to kill me like you killed the Egyptian yesterday?”
Now Moses knew the news of the murder was out! The palace was no longer a safe place for him. He ran for his life. And sure enough when Pharaoh heard of the killing, he ordered Moses killed.
Moses probably lived most of his life...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 1:22-2:10
TO CHEW ON: “...She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.” Exodus 2:5,6
Joseph and his brothers eventually died. Their children continued to live in Egypt. Their numbers grew until they were a nation. The Egyptians called them Hebrews or Israelites.
Four hundred years passed. Now a different Pharaoh ruled in Egypt. He was mean. He made the Israelites his slaves. They were forced to work for no pay. Even so, the number of Israelites kept growing.
This made Pharaoh worried. There were too many. What would he do if they decided to rebel and not to obey him any more? So he passed a new law. Every baby boy must be killed at birth.
How terrible! Instead of being happy that a new baby was about to be born, now the mothers were terrified. For it was against the law to let a baby boy live.
We know that at least one family didn’t obey this law. Use the sentence fragments and your Bible (Exodus 2:3-8) to finish the...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 45:1-15
TO CHEW ON: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:5
After hearing Judah’s offer to take Benjamin’s place, Joseph knew his brothers were changed. Suddenly all the feelings he had been holding inside – the sadness at being hated and sold by his brothers, the fear, the homesickness, the years of being away from his family, the mixed-up feelings he got when he saw his brothers again – needed to come out.
Joseph dismissed his servants, and began to cry. “I am Joseph,” he told his brothers between sobs. “Is my father still living?”Joseph greeting his brothers - Artist unknown
His brothers were scared of him. Now Joseph was the powerful one. He could do anything he wanted with them. Would he want revenge?
But he told them, “Don’t worry. God was in everything that happened. You meant to do a bad thing to me, but God made something good out of it. Because I am here in Egypt, our whole family can be saved from the famine.”
We too may have experienced things we don’t understand....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 10:21-29
TO CHEW ON: Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Exodus 10:28,29
What is the darkest place you have ever been? Did you know that in complete darkness you can’t see the step in front of you or your fingers right in front of your eyes?
When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go after everything that had happened (Nile water turned to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, sick cattle, boils, hailstones and locusts), God sent darkness.
Imagine sleeping all night but in the morning when it’s time to get up – no light! And then imagine only heavy darkness through a second day, and a third. The people began to panic. What if it always stayed dark? What if the sun never came out again?
But, was it dark where the Israelites lived? ___________ (Exodus 10:23).
After three days Moses got this message, “Come to the palace. Pharaoh wants to talk.”
However, when Moses and Aaron came, Pharaoh wanted to make his own rules. “The people can go,” he said....
Read More about Long Night »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 12:21-28
TO CHEW ON: "When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." Exodus 12:23
As God had told Moses, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt. Through frogs, gnats, flies, sick cattle, boils, hail, locusts and darkness, he didn’t budge. But God was not finished with him. God told Moses and Aaron what He would do next.
The first born son of every family in Egypt would die. It would happen at midnight.
But God would not kill anyone in the homes of the Israelites IF they followed His instructions. Solve the crossword using the Bible references and find out what God told each family to do.
- Each family was to take a (9 across - Exodus12:3).- They were to kill it at (1 down - Exodus12:6).- With (3 across - Exodus12:22) they were to paint the lamb’s blood on the (2 down [plural] Exodus12:22)....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 40:1-23
TO CHEW ON: “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” (Genesis 40:14)
- Maybe the teacher will forget about giving the test.- Maybe the new kid will turn out to be my friend.
When we’re not ready for a test or we need a friend, we can think of ways God might answer our prayers.
I’m sure Joseph had been praying to get out of prison. Now he probably thought Pharaoh’s cup-bearer was going to be the answer to that prayer. After Joseph told the cup-bearer that he would be be going free, Joseph asked him to talk to Pharaoh. Pharaoh could get innocent Joseph out of jail.
Can’t you just imagine Joseph watching the prison door after the cup-bearer was set free, waiting for someone to tell him he could go free too? But day after day no one came. Soon he realized his prayers to go free would not be answered in the way he thought.
God often doesn’t answer our prayers the way we expect. But still we can trust Him. Because He knows everything and will answer at the right time...
Read More about Isn’t this the plan? »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 39:7-23
TO CHEW ON: “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Genesis 39:20b,21)
Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? That’s what happened to Joseph.
At first everything went well. When the Ishmaelites who had bought Joseph got to Egypt they sold him to Pharaoh’s servant Potiphar. Joseph liked his job and did such good work, Potiphar soon put him in charge of everything he owned.
But Mrs. Potiphar liked Joseph too – in a sexual way. She tried over and over to get him to sin with her. Over and over, Joseph said, “No.” One day she tricked him. She got him alone in the house. “Come to me,” she said to Joseph.
Again Joseph said, “No!” Then he ran out of the house.
Mrs. Potiphar was angry and humiliated. “Joseph tried to rape me,” she lied. Immediately Potiphar arrested Joseph and put him in the king’s prison.
But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Joseph got right back to work helping the jailer. In no time the jailer put him in charge of all the prisoners....
Read More about Hard Times »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:20-32
TO CHEW ON: " And the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go." Exodus 8:31,32
Have you ever been caught in a plague of creatures or insects? Maybe the trees in your town were attacked by tent caterpillars. Or your home was invaded by ants. I heard of a city in India that was overrun with monkeys.
What was your plague?How long did it last?How did it end?
This is what happened to the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt.Nile river is turned to blood - by James Tissot
First Moses turned the Nile River into blood. Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
Then came the plague of frogs. Imagine frogs everywhere, jumping onto your bed, into your glass of milk, up your pant leg. Still Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go....
Read More about Frogs, Gnats, Flies and a Hard Heart »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 12:29-36
TO CHEW ON: "During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, 'Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested.' ” Exodus 12:31
Imagine that first Passover night. Your family did exactly what Moses said. Your dad killed the lamb and painted its blood on the doorframe. Your Mom roasted the lamb’s meat. Then your family ate it with herbs and flat bread. For this meal you were dressed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. But you weren’t allowed outside because God had said to stay in until morning.Pharaoh commands Moses to leave Egypt - by James Tissot
Just after midnight the wailing from the Egyptians began. It woke you as it got louder, spreading from house to house. Soon there was crying everywhere – from the poorest servant’s shack to Pharaoh’s palace. For in every Egyptian house, including Pharaoh’s palace, the firstborn son had died.
Pharaoh sent for Moses. “Take your flocks and your families,” he shouted. “Take everything and get out!”
As the sun rose on a new day, your family packed. You packed your clothes, your pets, your toys, your dishes, your beds. You gathered all your...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 5:1-23
TO CHEW ON: "Moses returned to the Lord and said, 'Why, Lord, have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.'" Genesis 5:22,23
Moses hurried back to Egypt after God talked to him from the burning bush. Sure enough, on his way he met Aaron, just as God had said. When they got back to Egypt, they called a meeting of the Israelite leaders. Moses told them what God wanted him to do and showed them the signs God had given him. The leaders were overjoyed and worshiped God. Now they would no longer be slaves.
For when Moses and Aaron talked to Pharaoh, he laughed at them. “Who is the Lord that I should obey him and let Israel go?” he scoffed.
The Israelites were working for Pharaoh as slaves. They worked on his building projects. One of the things they had to do was make bricks for the Egyptian palaces, temples and pyramids.Egyptian ruins showing brick construction
Now Pharaoh made a new rule. Instead of giving the workers...
Read More about Brick Brouhaha »
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 14:15-31TO CHEW ON: "And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:31Even after God spoke to him, Moses kept crying to God for help. Finally God interrupted Moses’ frantic prayer. “Stop praying,” God said. “Get busy. Here’s my plan.”
The waters are divided by James Tissot
Read the story in Exodus 14:15-31, then cross out the three things, below, that did not happen:
1. Moses stretched out his staff toward the sea.2. The cloud came between the Israelites and the Egyptian army.3. The Egyptians bothered the Israelites all night.4. An east wind turned the sea into dry land.5. The Israelites waded through the sea in waist-deep water.6. The Israelites walked across the sea on dry ground.7. The Egyptian army followed the Israelites into the sea.8. The Egyptian army became confused.9. When Moses gave the signal, the sea rushed back into place.10. Some of the Egyptians got across in canoes.11. The whole Egyptian army drowned in the sea that day....
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