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On Your Mark, Get Set, Exodus!
by Sophia Prinsloo with Barbara Wilmerton Haas

Israelites were led by a pillar of cloud

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

Lily walked through the long, cold corridor up towards the offices of the orphanage where she lived. She stopped, sighing nervously before she entered the door, wondering, “What is going to happen to me?”

wildflower bouquet Mrs. Primrose's secretary greeted her with a huge smile and showed her a place to sit while she waited. Lily looked at the simple bouquet of colorful flowers on the secretary's desk. She did not know what kind of flowers they were, but they were so pretty, and the scent coming from them was sweet and inviting. She looked at her old worn-out, second-hand clothes and wondered, “Why can't everything in life be sweet and pretty like those flowers?”

“You can go through now, dear,” the secretary announced, interrupting her innermost thoughts.

Lily got up and hesitantly knocked on the wooden door. She turned the knob when she heard the firm but warm voice of Mrs. Primrose saying, “Come in, dear!”

A nice-looking, friendly couple sitting across from Mrs. Primrose got up to greet her. The man was tall with broad, protective shoulders and silver hair swept against his temples. The woman was shorter with friendly, motherly eyes and curly hair dancing around her neck when she moved her head.

“Lily, this is Mr. and Mrs. Darling,” Mrs. Primrose said. “They want to take you into foster care and eventually adopt you. They are here to take you home with them. Our paperwork is almost done. Won't you quickly go and get your things so that you can go with them?”

Lily's heart skipped a beat as she heard herself saying, “Sure! I'll be back in a jiffy!”

“At last someone wants to adopt me,” she said to herself as she made her way back to her room and began packing her things. “I thought I would never get out of here. But I wonder if I can trust the man and woman, if they will really love me as their own?”

Leaving the orphanage, with a new life at the Darlings beckoning her, Lily was on the verge of learning, step by step, that she was unconditionally loved by them. And because the Darlings really loved her and wanted the best for her, she could trust them completely, without being afraid that they would ever abandon her.

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The Hebrews were wide awake and having their Passover feast It was Passover night and all the Egyptians were fast asleep while the Hebrews were wide awake and having their Passover feast. The sweet aroma of barbecued Passover lamb and freshly baked bread filled the air in Goshen. Every last lintel and doorpost of the Hebrew houses were stained red with the blood of the Passover lamb. All the Israelites were fully dressed with shoes on their feet and rods in their hands, ready to go. Not one Hebrew was outside. The atmosphere was completely different in the land of Egypt. An eeriness crept through the streets. The Destroyer was on the prowl….

That night at midnight, God struck dead all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, rich and poor — every firstborn human and animal that breathed. Weeping and wailing filled the homes and spilled out onto the streets, as soon as dead loved ones were discovered. In the meantime in Goshen, not a single firstborn of the Israelites had died because they obeyed God by putting the blood from the Passover lamb on their doorposts and lintels.

Even Pharaoh rose that same night and discovered his dead firstborn son Even Pharaoh rose that same night, discovered his dead firstborn son who would have succeeded him on the throne, and wept uncontrollably for him. Without waiting another moment, he called Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and said, “Get ready and leave us! Please go! All of you! Go, serve the Lord as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds and be gone! And, as you go, please bless me also.”

Moses and Aaron were excited. “Finally! God forced him to let us go. Now Israel can see how great their God is. Hallelujah!” Moses said, praising the Lord.

Just like Pharaoh, the Egyptian people were afraid that they might all die so urged the Israelites to make haste and leave quickly. They said to each other, “We are as good as dead while the Israelites are still here!”

The Lord had told the Israelites to demand from the Egyptians articles of gold and silver, and clothing. The Israelites did just that and the Egyptians were all too happy to give it to them, saying, “Just take it and please leave!” That's how the Israelites stripped the Egyptians of their belongings.

The Israelites packed up everything they owned and gathered their flocks and herds That night, the excited Israelites packed up everything they owned and gathered their flocks and herds. The women took their bread dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading bowls, wrapped in clothing. Parents checked to make sure all their children were close by and ready. Then they all gathered at the city of Rameses, ready to leave.

There were 600,000 men, besides women and children, ready to go on foot. Wow! That's a lot of people! Well, as if that wasn't enough, people from other nations had left their homes and joined in too. Gathered around each family were their mooing herds of cattle and bleating flocks of sheep. Just think how noisy it must have been!

Right smack in the middle of all this commotion, God looked down from Heaven and spoke to Moses, and said, “This day you are leaving slavery behind in Egypt. It is a day to remember forever. The Lord your God has brought you out with mighty miracles. When you come to live in the Promised Land, remember this day by keeping the Passover feast without any yeast. You must also tell your children what the Passover feast means. Slaves and foreigners who live with you can join the children of Israel in this feast, but only if all their males have been circumcised.”

The Lord also told Moses, “Because I killed all the firstborn of Egypt but spared all the firstborn of the children of Israel, all your firstborn sons and male animals are Mine. You have to buy them back from Me.”

Before they could leave, Moses had to do one last thing. He had to fetch the bones of Joseph. Many years before — in fact, 300 years earlier — Joseph was second in charge of the whole land of Egypt when he invited Jacob and his other sons to come to Egypt so that he could provide for them. Before he died, Joseph made the children of Israel promise that they would take his bones with him to the Promised Land when they left Egypt. He was sure God would lead them out of Egypt. Moses was now honoring that promise.

It was a vast exodus of hundreds of thousands of people and their animals When everything was ready, Moses bravely gave the sign, on God's command, and they left Rameses and started for Succoth. It was a vast exodus of hundreds of thousands of people and their animals, kicking up a cloud of dust that reached high into the sky. Men who had built strong muscles through years of slave labor, carried the heavier stuff. Women carried babies and bread dough that had no yeast in it. Children carried blankets and small things, but everyone helped. Some men were in charge of livestock, keeping them from wandering away.

The Israelites walked and walked. The short route to the Promised Land went straight through the land of the Philistines. God knew the Philistines were a savage nation who, without second thought, would fight the children of Israel, killing them and robbing them of their possessions. The Lord could see the children of Israel were not ready to face war yet. He feared they could easily become discouraged and try to return to Egypt. So God, in his infinite wisdom, decided to lead them the longer way to avoid meeting up with the Philistines. They would just have to trust Him.

When the whole procession reached Succoth, Moses made them stop and the women quickly roasted some bread cakes on the fire. How they enjoyed their first meal free from slavery! Hallelujah!

Leaving Succoth, God led them in a very special way to Etham. They could see exactly where they had to go. It was an awesome spectacle! During the daytime, God sent a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and at nighttime, He sent a pillar of fire to lead which lit up their pathway. With God's special arrangement, they could travel by day or night. It didn't matter which because the cloud and the fire were never out of sight. Today, God uses his Word and his Holy Spirit to lead us on our way.

Through many mighty miracles, God had freed the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and now He was leading them to the Promised Land. What an adventure was awaiting them! They just had to get to the place where they understood that God really loved them, and it was vital that they learn to trust Him completely!

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Just like the Lord freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, Jesus will free you from the slavery of sin if you will trust Him completely.


1. What is an exodus?
2. How many men, besides women and children, were traveling with Moses?
3. From what did God free the children of Israel?
4. In which country were they slaves?
5. How did God lead them during the day? And at night?
6. Do you think people can be slaves of sin?
7. In the New Testament, who came to set us free from sin?
8. Will you trust God to lead you too?


“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).


“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).


The children of Israel were beginning a new life away from slavery, learning all about the awesome, wonderworking, caring God of their fathers. Have you ever moved from one place to another, starting a whole new life there? Were you excited? How did you feel the first day you went to school or Sunday school?

[After discussion:] It changed your whole life, didn't it? When you give your heart to God, it’s like beginning a whole new life with Him. We call that being born again. Have you ever been born again or would you like to be born again?

Just as you were born as a baby and grew bigger and taller every day, your spirit also begins to grow. What does a baby need to grow? Yes, a baby needs milk to grow and later on more solid food. Even grown-ups need food to survive. That’s why the Israelites took unleavened bread with them when they left Egypt. Likewise, our spirit also needs spiritual food. Do you know what spiritual food is? Let me give you a hint. Quickly look up 1 Peter 2:2. There it talks about the milk of the Word. That's right! It’s the Bible.

We grow spiritually when we read the Word of God daily and apply it to our lives. In it, we learn how much God loves and cares for us, how wonderful and awesome He is and how much He wants us to become like Him. Would you also like to grow spiritually? Then begin to read the Bible every day, beginning at the New Testament . Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand it and apply it to your life.

Let’s take a moment in prayer to ask Jesus to be Lord of our lives and free us from sin. Let’s ask Him to remind us to read his Word daily and help us understand it so we can grow spiritually.


Dog and boy praying

Heavenly Father, sometimes I feel trapped by fear and sin.
Will you please forgive me and set me free?
Now lead me by your Holy Word and your Holy Spirit.
Thank You, Lord Jesus! In your Name I pray. Amen.


Exodus 12:29-13:22



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