By Mary Vee
"Oh, great Pharaoh, I've received word that the children of Israel have escaped." The advisor stepped back and waited for a reply.
Pharaoh squinted back at the advisor. "They've done what?"
"Our spies report they have journeyed toward the Red Sea and set up camp." The advisor raised his hands. "What do you want done?"
"What about my building projects, are they moving forward?"
"Why no, my liege. The Israelites have left. Who is to do the work? Your people have had to take on all the tasks done by the Israelites: cooking, cleaning, caring for the animals, tending the fields."
Pharaoh got up from his throne chair and paced. "Why have we done this? Why did we let the Israelites go? Isn't it bad enough plagues destroyed our crops, animals, and many of our people. Must we suffer without slaves?"
The advisor didn't answer.
Pharaoh grunted and stomped toward the window overlooking Egypt. "Make ready my chariot and the army. I want them ready to leave in an hour."
The advisor bowed then left. An hour later he returned to report the army stood ready outside the city. Pharaoh ran to his chariot and rode to the front. "Let us not allow the Israelites to escape. We will overpower them and drag them back into service."
The soldiers cheered. Pharaoh signaled his driver to proceed.
The chariots raced to the south east, tracking the Israelites along the way. A cloud of dust rolled up behind the chariots, raising high into the sky. Pharaoh's army came to a hill overlooking the Red Sea. "We have them now! Although the sun grows dim they can't escape. How foolish of Moses to trap them between the Red Sea, the desert and my mighty army."
A large cloud set over the Red Sea moved over the children of Israel. The cloud continued to move between Pharaoh and the children of Israel. The thickness of the cloud prevent Pharaoh from seeing the Hebrews.
Pharaoh signaled his army to stop. His captain rode near. "We can't see through the cloud. If we moved forward the horses could stumble and fall."
"Yes, yes, I agree. Make camp here. As soon as the cloud lifts, we'll capture those Hebrews."
"As you wish, great Pharaoh."
Darkness set in over the Egyptian camp.
1. Why did the work in Egypt stop?
2. Who did Pharaoh want to capture?
3. What stopped Pharaoh from his chase?
4. What do you think will happen?