1. PREPARING TO LEAVE
a. What did the Israelites demand for their hard labor and suffering in Egypt, and why did the Egyptians honor their request? Exodus 12:33, 35, 36.
b. Describe the company that left Egypt. Exodus 12:37–39.
“There was quite a large number of the Egyptians who were led to acknowledge, by the manifestations of the signs and wonders shown in Egypt, that the God of the Hebrews was the only true God. . . . They pledged themselves to henceforth choose the God of Israel as their God. They decided to leave Egypt, and go with the children of Israel to worship their God.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1101.
“And they went out, ‘about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them.’ In this multitude were not only those who were actuated by faith in the God of Israel, but also a far greater number who desired only to escape from the plagues, or who followed in the wake of the moving multitudes merely from excitement and curiosity. This class were ever a hindrance and a snare to Israel.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 281.
2. REMEMBERING THE SOJOURNING
a. How long did Abraham and his descendants dwell among strangers, and in what generation did their sojourn in Egypt end? Exodus 12:40, 41; Genesis 15:13–16.
b. How are we also sojourners on this earth? Hebrews 11:13–16.
“By their works [the disciples] constantly testified that this world was not their home; their citizenship was above; they were seeking a better country, even a heavenly. Their conversation and affections were on heavenly things. They were in the world, but not of the world; in spirit and practice they were separate from its maxims and customs. Their daily example testified that they were living for the glory of God. Their great interest, like that of their Master, was for the salvation of souls.”—Lift Him Up, p. 325.
c. In commemoration of the Passover, what requirement did God make concerning the firstborn of man and beast? Exodus 13:2, 11–15; Numbers 3:13. What lesson did this law teach?
“Furthermore, the first-born of both man and beast were to be the Lord’s, to be bought back only by a ransom, in acknowledgment that when the first-born in Egypt perished, that of Israel, though graciously preserved, had been justly exposed to the same doom but for the atoning sacrifice.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 274.
“After the tabernacle service was established, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi in the place of the first-born of all Israel to minister in the sanctuary. But the first-born were still to be regarded as the Lord’s, and were to be bought back by a ransom.
“Thus the law for the presentation of the first-born was made particularly significant. While it was a memorial of the Lord’s wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel, it prefigured a greater deliverance, to be wrought out by the only-begotten Son of God. As the blood sprinkled on the doorposts had saved the first-born of Israel, so the blood of Christ has power to save the world.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 51.
3. FOLLOWING GOD’S LEADING
a. What desire of Joseph did the Israelites fulfill when they departed from Egypt? Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19.
“In their departure from Egypt the Israelites bore with them a precious legacy, in the bones of Joseph, which had so long awaited the fulfillment of God’s promise, and which, during the dark years of bondage, had been a reminder of Israel’s deliverance.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 282.
b. Why did they take a long roundabout course instead of being led straight into the promised land? Exodus 13:17, 18.
“Instead of pursuing the direct route to Canaan, which lay through the country of the Philistines, the Lord directed their course southward, toward the shores of the Red Sea. . . . Had they attempted to pass through Philistia, their progress would have been opposed; for the Philistines, regarding them as slaves escaping from their masters, would not have hesitated to make war upon them. The Israelites were poorly prepared for an encounter with that powerful and warlike people. They had little knowledge of God and little faith in Him, and they would have become terrified and disheartened. They were unarmed and unaccustomed to war, their spirits were depressed by long bondage, and they were encumbered with women and children, flocks and herds. In leading them by the way of the Red Sea, the Lord revealed Himself as a God of compassion as well as of judgment.”—Ibid.
c. When God sometimes seems to lead us in a way that we do not understand, as He did with the children of Israel, what should we remember? John 13:7.
“Often our trials are such that they seem almost unbearable, and without help from God they are indeed unbearable. Unless we rely upon Him we shall sink under the burden of responsibilities that bring only sadness and grief. But if we make Christ our dependence, we shall not sink under trial. When all seems dark and unexplainable we are to trust in His love; we must repeat the words that Christ has spoken to our souls, ‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’”—My Life Today, p. 184.
4. VISIBLE TOKENS OF GOD’S GUIDANCE
a. From what place did the children of Israel start their journey? Where did they make their first and second stops? Exodus 12:37; 13:20.
b. What did God send to guide His people in their journeying by day and by night? Exodus 13:21, 22; Psalm 105:39.
“The standard of their invisible Leader was ever with them. By day the cloud directed their journeyings or spread as a canopy above the host. It served as a protection from the burning heat, and by its coolness and moisture afforded grateful refreshment in the parched, thirsty desert. By night it became a pillar of fire, illuminating their encampment and constantly assuring them of the divine presence.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 282.
c. How does Isaiah represent God’s care for His people in the final conflict as they near their heavenly home? Isaiah 4:5, 6.
“In one of the most beautiful and comforting passages of Isaiah’s prophecy, reference is made to the pillar of cloud and of fire to represent God’s care for His people in the great final struggle with the powers of evil: ‘The Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for above all the glory shall be a covering. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.’ Isaiah 4:5, 6, margin.”—Ibid., p.283.
“In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. . . . The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered. ‘He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ Matthew 24:31.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 404.
5. PHARAOH PURSUES ISRAEL
a. What instruction and warning did the Lord send to the Israelites in view of their imminent danger? Exodus 14:1–4.
b. With what great force did Pharaoh pursue the fugitives, and where did he overtake them? Exodus 14:5–9.
“The king was resolved to intimidate the Israelites by a grand display of his power. The Egyptians feared lest their forced submission to the God of Israel should subject them to the derision of other nations; but if they should now go forth with a great show of power and bring back the fugitives, they would redeem their glory, as well as recover the services of their bondmen.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 283.
c. In our personal struggle for freedom from Satan’s dominion, what promise should inspire us with an assurance of deliverance? Isaiah 49:24, 25.
“The spirits of darkness will battle for the soul once under their dominion, but angels of God will contend for that soul with prevailing power. The Lord says, ‘Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? . . . Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.’ Isaiah 49:24, 25.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 258.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How can we be like the mixed multitude in our motives for serving God?
2. How can we show that we are only sojourners on this earth?
3. At the beginning of their journey, why did the Israelites have to take the longer way? What should we learn from their experience?
4. How will the pillar of cloud and of fire again serve God’s people in the coming conflict?
5. What were the Egyptians seeking to regain when they decided to pursue the Israelites?