Moses and the Red Sea: Children’s Bible Lesson

Story of Moses Bible Lessons This is the 3rd lesson of a 5-part series based on the life of Moses. This free Children’s Church lesson plan was first written for elementary aged students. It covers the story of Moses’ birth and the exodus of the Israelites. This material could also be used as the Bible lesson for children’s Sunday school. Be sure to consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed.

Click here to view the series index, or you can leave a comment to add your ideas to this lesson plan.

Bible Story: Moses and the Red Sea
Scripture: Exodus 13:17-18,21, 14:1-31
Target Age Group: Age 6 – 11 (U.S. Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea by telling a friend.

Items Needed:

  • Bible: Exodus 13:17-18,21, 14:1-31. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • Construction paper, scissors, markers
  • White Board, white board markers

Worship: Use Moses Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Teaching Plan: Moses and the Red Sea

Welcome Activity: Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Have the children trace their feet onto construction paper. They will need 8 footprints for the Bible Verse Activity. It would be easier if they could have 4 pieces of paper and trace their feet on the top sheet. Then they could just cut out 4 of each foot at the same time.

Worship: Moses Songs

Bible Lesson Introduction:
Discuss with the children what has happened with Moses so far in the previous lessons.

  • Moses as a baby – put into the Nile in order to be saved from an awful law
  • Moses in the desert – God talks with him through a burning bush

Bible Lesson: Have the children open their Bibles Exodus 13:17. To help them find it, use the following questions. Answers are in italics.

  • Which part of the Bible is Exodus in? Old Testament
  • What book of the Old Testament is Exodus? #2

Read Exodus 13:17-18, 21, 14:1-31 (NIV) aloud to the children.
17 Pharaoh let the people go. The shortest road from Goshen to Canaan went through the Philistine country. But God didn’t lead them that way. God said, “If they have to go into battle, they might change their minds. They might return to Egypt.”
18 So God led the people toward the Red Sea by taking them on a road through the desert. The Israelites were prepared for battle when they went up out of Egypt.
21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. It guided them on their way. At night he led them with a pillar of fire. It gave them light. So they could travel by day or at night. 22 The pillar of cloud didn’t leave its place in front of the people during the day. And the pillar of fire didn’t leave its place at night.

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. 2 He said, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back. Have them camp near Pi Hahiroth between Migdol and the Red Sea. They must camp by the sea, right across from Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The people of Israel are wandering around the land. They don’t know which way to go. The desert is all around them.’
4 “I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. He will chase them. But I will gain glory for myself because of what will happen to Pharaoh and his whole army. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites camped by the Red Sea.
5 The king of Egypt was told that the people had gotten away. Then Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them. They said, “What have we done? We’ve let the people of Israel go! We’ve lost our slaves and all of the work they used to do for us!”
6 So he had his chariot made ready. He took his army with him. 7 He took 600 of the best chariots in Egypt. He also took along all of the other chariots. Officers were in charge of all of them.
8 The Lord made the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, stubborn. So he chased the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians went after the Israelites. All of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen and troops went after them. They caught up with them as they camped by the sea. The Israelites were near Pi Hahiroth, across from Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up. There were the Egyptians marching after them! The Israelites were terrified. They cried out to the Lord.
11 They said to Moses, “Why did you bring us to the desert to die? Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 We told you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians.’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people. He said, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you today. Do you see those Egyptians? You will never see them again. 14 The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.”
15 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people of Israel to move on. 16 Hold your wooden staff out. Reach your hand out over the Red Sea to part the water. Then the people can go through the sea on dry ground.
17 “I will make the hearts of the Egyptians stubborn. They will go in after the Israelites. I will gain glory for myself because of what will happen to Pharaoh, his whole army, his chariots and his horsemen.
18 “The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. I will gain glory because of what will happen to all of them.”
19 The angel of God had been traveling in front of Israel’s army. Now he moved back and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved away from in front of them. Now it stood behind them. 20 It came between the armies of Egypt and Israel. All through the night the cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other. Neither army went near the other all night long.
21 Then Moses reached his hand out over the Red Sea. All that night the Lord pushed the sea back with a strong east wind. He turned the sea into dry land. The waters were parted. 22 The people of Israel went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left.
23 The Egyptians chased them. All of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.
24 Near the end of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud. He saw the Egyptian army and threw it into a panic. 25 He kept their chariot wheels from turning freely. That made the chariots hard to drive.
The Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for Israel against Egypt.”
26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Reach your hand out over the sea. The waters will flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses reached his hand out over the sea. At sunrise the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians tried to run away from the sea. But the Lord swept them into it. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen. It covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the people of Israel into the sea. Not one of the Egyptians was left.
29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of Egypt. Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 The Israelites saw the great power the Lord showed against the Egyptians. So they had respect for the Lord. They put their trust in him and in his servant Moses.

Discuss Bible Lesson
17 Pharaoh let the people go. The shortest road from Goshen to Canaan went through the Philistine country. But God didn’t lead them that way. God said, “If they have to go into battle, they might change their minds. They might return to Egypt.”
18 So God led the people toward the Red Sea by taking them on a road through the desert. The Israelites were prepared for battle when they went up out of Egypt.
21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. It guided them on their way. At night he led them with a pillar of fire. It gave them light. So they could travel by day or at night. 22 The pillar of cloud didn’t leave its place in front of the people during the day. And the pillar of fire didn’t leave its place at night.

  • Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt (after a lot of plagues and hardships)
  • God goes ahead of them as a pillar of cloud during the day
  • God leads them as a pillar of fire by night

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. 2 He said, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back. Have them camp near Pi Hahiroth between Migdol and the Red Sea. They must camp by the sea, right across from Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The people of Israel are wandering around the land. They don’t know which way to go. The desert is all around them.’
4 “I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn. He will chase them. But I will gain glory for myself because of what will happen to Pharaoh and his whole army. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites camped by the Red Sea.

• God leads the Israelites to the Red Sea
• The people make camp by the sea

5 The king of Egypt was told that the people had gotten away. Then Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them. They said, “What have we done? We’ve let the people of Israel go! We’ve lost our slaves and all of the work they used to do for us!”
6 So he had his chariot made ready. He took his army with him. 7 He took 600 of the best chariots in Egypt. He also took along all of the other chariots. Officers were in charge of all of them.

  • Pharaoh regrets letting the Israelites go
  • He gathers up his men to get the people back

8 The Lord made the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, stubborn. So he chased the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians went after the Israelites. All of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen and troops went after them. They caught up with them as they camped by the sea. The Israelites were near Pi Hahiroth, across from Baal Zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up. There were the Egyptians marching after them! The Israelites were terrified. They cried out to the Lord.
11 They said to Moses, “Why did you bring us to the desert to die? Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 We told you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians.’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert!”
13 Moses answered the people. He said, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you today. Do you see those Egyptians? You will never see them again. 14 The Lord will fight for you. Just be still.”

  • Pharaoh chases after the Israelites
  • The Israelites see the Egyptians coming after them
  • They complain to Moses

15 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people of Israel to move on. 16 Hold your wooden staff out. Reach your hand out over the Red Sea to part the water. Then the people can go through the sea on dry ground.
17 “I will make the hearts of the Egyptians stubborn. They will go in after the Israelites. I will gain glory for myself because of what will happen to Pharaoh, his whole army, his chariots and his horsemen.
18 “The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. I will gain glory because of what will happen to all of them.”

  • God tells Moses His plan to save them

19 The angel of God had been traveling in front of Israel’s army. Now he moved back and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved away from in front of them. Now it stood behind them. 20 It came between the armies of Egypt and Israel. All through the night the cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other. Neither army went near the other all night long.
21 Then Moses reached his hand out over the Red Sea. All that night the Lord pushed the sea back with a strong east wind. He turned the sea into dry land. The waters were parted. 22 The people of Israel went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left.

The plan is executed:

  • God moves to block the Egyptians from the Israelites
  • Moses reaches out his arms and the Red Sea splits (God’s doing)
  • The Israelites walk on DRY ground to safety

23 The Egyptians chased them. All of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.
24 Near the end of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud. He saw the Egyptian army and threw it into a panic. 25 He kept their chariot wheels from turning freely. That made the chariots hard to drive.
The Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for Israel against Egypt.”
26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “Reach your hand out over the sea. The waters will flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses reached his hand out over the sea. At sunrise the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians tried to run away from the sea. But the Lord swept them into it. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen. It covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the people of Israel into the sea. Not one of the Egyptians was left.

God kills all of the Egyptians by closing the Red Sea in on them

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of Egypt. Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 The Israelites saw the great power the Lord showed against the Egyptians. So they had respect for the Lord. They put their trust in him and in his servant Moses.

GOD WINS!!! Of course!

Bible Lesson Activities

Activity: Fears

• Put a line down the middle of the white board
• Label one side “Fears” and the other side “How God Helps”
• Talk with the children about some of the fears that the Israelites might have felt leaving their home and crossing the Red Sea
o Write those down under the “Fears” column
• Talk with the children how God helped the Israelites with these fears – some answers will be guesses as it might not say in the Bible
o Write those down under the “How God Helps” column
• Do the same thing with fears that they may have

Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“The people of Israel went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on their right side and on their left.” Exodus 14:22

Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:

The people of Israel: point to yourself and others in the class
Went through the sea: act like you are walking through something
On dry ground: pat the ground
There was a wall: put your hands up like there is a wall in front of you
Of water: wiggle your arm like it was a wave of water
On their right side: make the wall motion with right hand
And on their left side: make the wall motion with the left hand
Exodus 14: put all 10 fingers up and then 4 fingers
22: hold up 2 fingers on each hand to represent 2-2

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: Bible Verse Footprints
• Have the children write the Bible Verse on their footprints…splitting it into 8 parts so that each footprint gets part of the verse written on it
• Write the following parts on the White Board so that the children can copy it:
o The people of Israel
o Went through the sea
o On dry ground.
o There was a wall
o Of water
o On their right side
o And on their left side

Evaluation: Have the children tell a friend what happened in the Bible lesson today and how God saved the Israelites.