God protected the Israelites during the Exodus by:
1) Making them cross the red sea on dry ground.
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2) Providing water in the wilderness.
3) Providing manna and quails.
4) Defeating Amalekites – their enemies.
5) Protecting them from snakes and diseases in the wilderness.
Provision of water in the wilderness
Israelites travelled in the desert for three days without water. The water, which they found at Marah was bitter and could not be drunk. They called the place ‘Marah’ meaning ‘bitter’. This made them complain. Moses prayed to the Lord. The Lord showed Moses a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water and it became fit to drink.
God continued providing Israelites with water. Again the Israelites lacked water and complained bitterly (Ex.17:1 – 9). God instructed Moses to strike a rock and water came out of it. Moses called that place ‘Massah’ – which means ‘testing ‘and ‘Meribah’ – meaning ‘rebellion’. This was because the Israelites quarreled and tested God.
Provision of manna and quails (EX 16:1 – 35)
As the Israelites were travelling through the desert, they ran out of food. They were hungry and complained to Moses. Their complaints displeased the Lord for they often told Moses they wished he had let them die in Egypt instead of dying in the wilderness. This showed that the Israelites did not trust God to provide for them.
In the morning, they were given Manna, which is a Hebrew word for the type of bread given to Israelites by God. The bread looked like wafers or flakes and tasted like coriander seed. In the evening, GOD provided Israelites with quail’s meat. The provision of manna and quails (meat) lasted for 40 years. On the 6th day of each week, God gave them food for two days one for the 6th day and the other for the 7th day (Sabbath).
Defeat of the Amalekites (Exodus 17: 8 – 16)
Challenges faced by the Israelites during the Exodus During the Exodus, the Israelites faced the challenge of the Amalekites. These were desert Nomads who attacked the Israelites in the wilderness. When the Amalekite army came against Israelites, Moses ordered Joshua to gather men and fight. God promised to destroy the Amalekites forever.
During the battle, Moses held up his rod. And each time he raised his hands with the rod, the Amalekites were defeated. When he brought his hands down, the Israelites were defeated. Because of this, Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ hands until the Amalekites were defeated. In the wilderness God protected the Israelites form snakebites.
He also used a cloud to protect the Israelites from the scorching heat during the day. At night, the pillar of fire provided warmth to protect them from the harsh cold of the wilderness.
The importance of the exodus in the history of the Israelites
The exodus showed Israelites that:
1) God loves and tolerates His people.
2) God did not abandon the Israelites despite their lack of faith.
3) God gave the Israelites encouragement through his servant Moses.
4) It was the end of the oppression of Israelites in Egypt.
5) Moses was God’s chosen leader.
African Moral Values Introduction